Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks, Dr. Suzuki!

"It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible." --Victor de LaPrade
This afternoon was my last day to teach theory at the Centenary Suzuki School. I was trying to remember how many years I've taught there, and can't really remember for sure, but I think it's been about seven years. It has been lots of fun and I've gotten to know so many wonderful children and their families, but it's time to move on now. The Parent's Association honored me with a gift card and this cute frog statue.
Jana began taking violin lessons there when she was in first grade. And then Callie joined in just before kindergarten. Time passed and I sat through so many lessons that it's impossible to count. They both learned so much in that wonderful program---through positive teaching and lots of practice.

But, I learned a lot, too.
While I learned to play the piano as a kid and have always loved music, I must admit that piano lessons were not especially fun when I took them. In fact, they were often torturous. I had three different teachers through the six years that I took lessons, but only one was what I would consider as nurturing. While the others knew quite a lot about technique and one had trained some very famous pianists, their teaching style was far from positive and I began to dread each and every lesson.

When Jana decided that she wanted to give violin a try she began Suzuki lessons, and I was introduced to a totally different style of teaching music---a positive style that encouraged rather than discouraged. Although Jana decided that violin was not "her thing", at least her introduction to music was a positive experience and she learned and played well. Callie on the other hand, found "her thing" in violin and flourished under the direction of the Suzuki teachers.

And through years of sitting through lessons and teaching theory classes to young children, I not only learned a different style of teaching music, I learned to love classical music and to appreciate the hard work that musicians give to develop their skill. I am so appreciative for the chance to work and listen and meet and learn--and will never forget the friends I made.
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Callie said...

yay! Tonight was a musical milestone for me, too---my last orchestra concert! We played Brahms' German Requiem (dedicated to Eve) and it was both awesome and sad. It's funny though: a lot of people say that they started out Suzuki, as though they moved on to bigger & better things. I'm still a Suzuki kid at heart, though.

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