Friday, April 9, 2010
Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.
(Title Quote by S. Suzuki)
One of my favorite parts of teaching is meeting with other teachers monthly to hear some new ideas and be buoyed by "been there, here's a solution" thinking. I was a little late this morning so some of the meeting drudgery was over. The short business meeting is my least favorite part; there's talk of jobs to do, finances and old business. I wasn't late on purpose but I didn't really mind missing the "we all need to do our share" speech.
There are many charter member veterans of teaching in our group. (Several are quite vocal about their expertise.) We have also new teachers, fresh and alive- a twinkle in their eye, inquisitive and finding their way. I'm sort of in the middle of these two ends, I think. I don't consider myself a new teacher anymore, but I'm not a "seasoned" one either. I wonder when I will think of myself that way? How old will I be when I one day say, "Hey, wow, they're lookin' at me like I should know"?
Amazing events during the year include things for our students like festivals, nursing home events, and special presentations. But one of the hidden gems of our club is the teacher benefits. One of the bright highlights of this club is to hear our own membership give presentations. We're not only piano teachers. I have learned so much about music by hearing vocalists, violinists, and guitarists present ideas and teaching philosophies on aspects of music, from classical to jazz. Every once in awhile, the class is dry, but often the presenter is on fire for their craft, eliciting a vibration deep inside me that is in synchronicity with their passion and their instrument. I almost always leave with a smile, either from new information or simply rubbing elbows with my very cool colleagues.
Today's class was a presentation on the philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki. He wrote a book in 1969 that has become a "bible" of sorts for Suzuki Talent Education, entitled "Nurtured by Love". He believed that if a 2 year old could learn the very difficult Japanese language, they could learn the language of music and be successful. He was not looking for the next prodigy, but rather to give his countrymen and the world more grace and humanness, in every person. The presenter had many quotes that could have stood alone as inspiring, but my favorite was, "What is man's ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty”.