Monday, January 25, 2010


We made it through another Festival; students performed as I expected or a little better. After the emails from last week we had good results. Everyone rose to the challenge. Both of the students with whom I had spoken to parents received superior scores. (5/5)

It is interesting to me that one parent decided to have a hands off approach and one parent decided to be intricately involved and the result was the same. They knew their children, yes, they did! I know that I waffle all the time on what will be the best way to handle my own children. Each situation feels different and new. I have responded with both a heavy hand or a letting go, depending on the day and the child.

As a teacher, I wish I could see more of the whole story of the child, their life and living. I think sometimes "NO!" I don't want to know more about their successes and failures because it is already so hard. But I have no idea about some of their struggles and what makes them say and do what they do at lessons and in performance. I only see the sides they choose to show me.

As a judge, it's even harder. You may get an idea that the student has natural ability, or worked his behind off to get as much as he did. You may also not know that the A. parent is dying of cancer, just got a divorce, is so proud that they're still studying piano, brings their own hopes and dreams to the bench with the child, etc. B. child struggles with ADD, addiction, social anxiety, or is not working to his potential because it comes easily to him, etc., C. only needs one point toward a trophy and it here to get it over with, may end up being a music major, or a scientist, or none of the above. D. comments that you give could change a lot or nothing.

What are they getting out of their music study here? Some have come back and told me that they remember things I don't even remember doing! Or that they played a piece that still haunts them. It's funny, isn't it, what we choose to see.

On another note, we made snowflakes for the recital last week, which the students and I have put up on the french doors between the waiting room and the studio. Here are some pictures of the creations. They are as beautiful and distinct as each creator.

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