The music lessons have begun. I have two confirmed students. Three others who expressed interest but haven’t started yet.
So how do you teach a music lesson? Thirty minutes. Should it be five minutes of friendly chatting, and then ten minutes of listening to the things they practiced at home, and then ten minutes of looking at new stuff, and then five minutes of reviewing what they should practice before the next lesson? And what do you chat about?
I’m thinking back to my own piano and violin lessons. There was Jean Janzen. She would write things down in a little notebook, things that I should practice. And her cat was often there in her lap during the lesson. That was nice. Mrs. Iacovetti, my violin teacher, never wrote anything down. I just remembered what I should practice. No cat either. And sometimes she didn’t chat much. Except that I remember conversations about her views on church music, and how once she thought she might have a serious disease, and she played violin all day while she was waiting for the test results, as a means of dealing with her emotions. So we must have chatted.
And my dad was my piano teacher for a while. But we didn’t need to chat really. And he wrote dates at the top of the pieces of music I was learning: the date I started it, and the date it was completed. Those dates are still there in my beat-up copy of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.
I guess there’s no right way to do it. You just do it. Come to think of it, we always stood up during my violin lessons, the whole time. I’d rather teach sitting down. I suppose that’s okay too.
I guess there’s not really a right way to do anything in life. You just do it. Like parenting, and being married, and all the other things that we do. And anyone that claims to know the right way, well, I certainly don’t want to hear about it. Or read the book about it. It’s better just to grope forward, bravely feeling for the way that lies open.