Friday, February 13, 2009
Taking the Reins
Before she even finished the piece, she was looking at me. "Well, how was that?", she asked. I replied, "Lift the pedal, finish, then talk to me, please."
I could have told her what I heard. But instead I asked, "If you were the teacher and I was the student that just finished playing, what would you tell me?"
"What did you hear in your playing that improved? What did you hear that still needs some polishing and what's one spot that could really use some detailed, hard work?"
I feel I am at my one of my best moments when I'm teaching myself out of a job. If I do a great job in our lessons, they won't need me anymore. Eventually. I am not hear to teach a certain piece, or up to a certain level. I'm not teaching so they can win awards or pass a test. I want them to know that they could learn a piece without me some day. There is a special exhilaration from being satisfied with one's own performance. When we together realize that the day has come, I hope they smile, shake my hand, thank me, and I will wish them all the best. I will be so proud to have been a part of that journey. We might keep in touch, because we shared something meaningful.
You should have seen her face. "Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't really listening," she said. "Let me play it again".