Saturday, April 17, 2010

Teaching and Playing: Three generations

This is what I do. I don't remember learning to read music, because I read music before I read words.  I played the piano before I went to school.  The violin dropped in to the mix when I was seven. It was a ploy to slow my progress on the piano because I couldn't reach the notes I needed to play nor would my feet touch the pedals.  After a few years I decided the violin, not the piano, was my voice, my language, my soul, and keenly connected to my spirit.  After I met Muffin, while in college as I was majoring in music, I began to think seriously about teaching music.  At first I thought about teaching general music on the elementary level.  Then I gravitated toward beginning strings classes after learning to play viola and cello and bass myself.  My student teaching assignment was with a sixth grade strings class and a junior high school orchestra.  I enjoyed both. By that time I had three years private teaching experience with violin students and a couple of summers as orchestra camp theory teacher, as well as seven weeks as a music counselor at an exclusive girls' summer camp where I taught classes, wrote a musical production, taught the music to the girls, and accompanied them during the performances.  Long story shortened, after college and marriage no school music positions were open either in west Texas or in northern California where we lived, so I began to take more and more private students. 

We moved back to Texas and had four daughters and more students. Not that I gave birth to the students, but I saw some of them weekly for thirteen consecutive years, and I taught our daughters to play violin as well and saw them every day for eighteen years or more.  So, it's a generational thing for me. A way of life. A skill I pass on. Hopefully a blessing to my children and to their children.

Now Boo is playing professionally and teaching twenty-something students herself.  Looks like one of them is going to be our Gracie!  She is delighted to play her "my-lin".  And because she has watched her mommy teach and re-position violins so many times she thinks she can position them for her grandparents.  This makes me very happy!  She is learning my language.

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