A student in my Level III Orff class surprised me with this sentence posted in Facebook:
Every detail is thought with love so that we have moments of happiness.
She was describing her experience of the classes I was teaching and how happy did this make me? I love just about every word in this sentence:
• Every. I have not always been the most thorough practitioner—just ask my childhood piano teacher! But in these long years of teaching, I have worked to fill every corner of the canvas.
• Detail. While the effect is often magical and seemingly effortless, the craft is really about the details.
• Thought. Yep. I never just blindly inherited or accepted any notion without subjecting it to constant scrutiny and thought. I think hard about my lessons before I teach them and after I teach them. While I teach, I just have fun. (But draw from my repertoire of thought to react appropriately to problems and opportunities.)
• Love. Ah, there’s the key. I love to think, I love to make music, I love to create classes that lead forth great music and inspire further thought. I love teaching and I grow to love the people I teach.
• We. And it’s not about ME. It’s about WE. All this work is in service of others.
• Moments. Every moment is opportunity to fill it with the best we can bring to it. I take that responsibility seriously and am impatient with dead space where nothing is happening.
• Happiness. Whether it’s the goal or the by-product doesn’t matter so much as the fact of its presence in the class. Teaching makes me happy, the way I teach makes (some) people happy and music well done makes us all happy.
So thanks to Fernanda for noticing and for finding the words that capture my intention. Once again: