Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Big Bad Wolf

Habits, habits and bad habits ! Sometimes, one has to busrt a bubble to allow for some real progress. Today, one of my talented 16 year olds came for her lesson and was all fired up and happy about a concert performance at the weekend. She was received with adulation and applause, and felt wonderful about herself. She is very good, and has such potential, but I had to prick her balloon so she could move on to a more adult performance, and take the risks involved with that, or allow her to remain in the 'child place' and not fulfil her considerable potential.

Oh Dear....she was not a happy bunny, but she is a gritty girl and took it like a man, so to speak! Her performance of the Handel aria was transformed beyond recognition, and I am sure she will set too and work at it with real determination.

It is one of the worst parts of teaching, breaking down and putting back together, and some youngsters cannot find their way through the mire of hard slog.

Young M is made of tough stuff, and I feel certain she will do the slog and come out on the other side smiling and strong. It is so easy to fall into bad habits, and I have not taught M for a long time, and sadly the truth is, at 12 - 18 years old, weekly lessons are absolutely essential to keep a baby, but growing voice disciplined and under control. M's parents are so supportive, and will do all in their power to make it possible, but they live 2 and a half hours away, and the weekly drive is daunting and tiring.

It is really needed now, at this crucial stage, her voice needs watching over and 'reining in' on a regular basis, so the bad habits can't set up problems which will magnify 100 fold when she is older ! The bigger the instrument, the more it needs a short leash ! In fact it is like a large and galumphing puppy !

I know they will make very effort to regularize the lessons, and I know it will be fine in the end.

I just hate and detest being the big bad wolf. However, having a sizable Grrrrrrrrrr.... is a fundamental qualification for a successful teacher !

1 comment:

  1. I empathise on the parental level. My son had his violin lesson last night, and although a talented a bright young lad, he was reproached on some habits. Of course, it's always so much easier to correct these while younger, training the ear to hear the correct notes, having a good habit of practice, etc.

    I'm sure your student is very happy that you're there helping her reach her potential. :)