Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Perfect Sentence

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:

Every detail is thought with love so that we have moments of happiness.

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