Thursday, September 17, 2009


Waking up early on a Saturday morning was never my favorite sport, and it still isn't. Even greater was the agony of the feet walking to the college music building at 8:00 AM while my roommate stayed huddled under her covers. What could motivate me to be one of the few, the tired, heading for four hours in the practice room?

Students. There were students waiting for me when I got there. As a charter member of the preparatory program, I was assigned a full roster of students. Every thirty minutes a new musical hopeful came in to play for me and - I hoped- to learn from me.

I was lucky I had a faculty mentor who helped assess what worked and what didn't. I was even luckier in that he was an experimental thinker. He also taught me the basics of studio set-up, which was immensely helpful when I got out on my own.

When I think about my early days as a teacher, I realize there were things I didn't know that I wish I had. On the other hand, I had a playful spirit about teaching that I have occasionally denied since then. Coming back to it has been a true joy.

Every teacher has a personal gift of spirit to give. It is the vessel that holds and pours out our knowledge. Mine is play. While yours may be something else, honor it for what it is. Use it,
value it, enjoy it.

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