Today I had my first college experience in actually teaching music. I had the opportunity to spend about a half hour sitting down with Maria, a 4th grade girl who had begun trumpet just a few weeks ago at West Lab School just outside of campus. Maria knew 4 notes, and in our half hour we almost doubled the number of notes she could play, as well as making progress on learning her first 3-note song. This, coupled with some breathing exercises and a break which included my modeling all my mutes for her, led to a very quick half-hour lesson. Maria is going to be a great trumpet player one day, she had a great tone for being a beginner, and an astonishingly good range! The most rewarding part, though, was hearing her tell me at the end that she had learned a lot. She had a big smile on her face when she walked back into the classroom.
This is why we do it.
In other news, I recently got back in touch with Mrs. Sue Rarus, my second cousin, but more importantly the Director of Research/Information with MENC. She also is a regular poster on the MENC Blog, which I would recommend to anyone interested in the music educators scene. It’s got some great ideas about music and teaching, and some nonrelated stuff too :).