Monday, February 27, 2017

Something to offer

i've started teaching music.
i started writing a big post about how that all came to pass, but realized that i don't feel like writing it all down just yet... But i want to write about my music lessons.
i've been teaching a group musicianship class, but also some private lessons for piano or voice. It has been an almost painful stretching growth for me to learn how to teach... and it has felt so perfectly right.
One of the first requests for private lessons that i got was one that almost crushed me with intimidation. It was an inquiry from a music teacher. She taught classical lessons, but said she was interested in learning a little chording, improvisation and accompaniment - the things that i was offering. She asked if she could come meet me to see if i would be a good fit for her. We met, and under and around and over my fear and worry - i could tell that i just loved her.
Sometimes it's really, really hard to see any value in your own skill set. 
I had decided before she arrived that i would speak a little discouragingly - if she still wanted lessons, then i'd teach - but i'd be very careful not to promise anything above what i was able. She left from the meeting assuring me that i had what she wanted and she looked forward to our first lesson.
She gently spoke encouragement over each lesson - practicing furiously each little piece that i taught her, and encouraging me to see that i had something to offer.
Between each lesson, i was in agony. The door would shut behind her and i would moan, "Oh Lord, what on earth will i teach her next week?" i would attack my bookshelves looking for ideas and move my hands in slow motion over the keyboard, "How on earth do i do this?" i would figure out the theory behind what my hands naturally wanted to do so that i could show her how... And each week, a whisper of inspiration would strike and i'd ask her cautiously, "Would this be a helpful skill?"
Sometimes she would say, "Yes!" & sometimes she would say, "Nah, i probably wouldn't use that..." But every week, i learned something new, and every week she improved.
I feel like i'm being stretched, learning how to examine the things that i know... how to really look at them and figure out how to pass on which pieces that might have value. My hope is that my students learn as much as i feel like i am learning in these months as i am learning how to teach - and i am so grateful to each one for giving me this chance to grow.

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