Monday, January 8, 2007

Teaching Enthusiasm

I have a piano student who showed up for his lesson today, asking if he could learn something and maybe perform in his homeschool graduation ceremony in May. Apparently they have kids audition. He'd have to win the one available spot. No pressure. However, I thought almost immediately of this one piece by Jon Schmidt. (He has lots of free downloads on his site, if you're an interested pianist.) The coolest thing about the piece, is the section in which you use your forearm across all the black keys. With a little flair, "All Of Me" will be quite the performance piece. It's tricky - not something I can play very well right off, even after 20 years of experience. When I played a little of it for him though, his eyes lit up. This kid can be summed up in one word...mellow. Not easily excitable, very methodical. Trying to get him to give me a difference between forte and piano is like pulling teeth. But, with images dancing through his head of playing a fun piece like that in front of all those families, his enthusiasm may just carry him to "greatness." I hope it does.

Finding the thing that will make that "spark" is the hardest part. The spark does the work for me as a teacher, if I can only find it.

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