My childhood idol who inspired my music and teaching aspirations
Let me proclaim if the world doesn’t know this already: I’M A HUGE SOUND OF MUSIC FAN. It’s because of this film, it has inspired my childhood fantasies and love for everything musical. There’s just magic in every second of this musical. Julie Andrews is the icing to the cake. Her dance on top of the hill at the opening of the movie is simply grand. Makes you wanna fly to the Alps! Never mind that. I can sing every tune to this movie and still not tire of it. For a couple of years now, I’ve been having this dream of going on an European tour and the Sound of Music tour has to be one of it!
I recently chance upon news that Julie has released a new biography and it’s mainly about her experience in Hollywood. How nice if I could get my hands on it. This news piece caught my eye though and I’m suddenly reflecting on my journey as a music educator. There are times of high and lows, especially if they have an effect on your emotionally. Recently the lows has been getting to me and I suddenly caught myself wondering if I’m doing what I’m suppose to do.
The good news is this short article, which is a summary of an interview has brought me to a new high and I wish to put these good thoughts down and recall them in the future. Like Julie Andrews who was suddenly thrown in the spotlight of movies and acting, I didn’t exactly choose to become a teacher after getting my first degree. It seems only a sensible choice at that time and circumstance. I was lucky and am grateful that I had very good mentors and senior colleagues to nurture my teaching skills. It was a struggle juggling the never ending documents, teaching and class management but I can say it safely now that I learn to find the rhythm in all of it, i.e. regular or irregular.
Realizing that I’m not just teaching a bunch of musical concepts, especially in my private piano lessons has been a great kickback. I thought it was easy teaching a single student, giving all my attention to a single being in just 45 minutes per week. It seems that that was not enough. I have been having trouble teaching younger pupils and it is challenging maintaining their interests and the post millennial generation is not easily pleased. Julie has once again reminded me that I should try to make a difference and create a unique experience for my students. It so little to make a huge impression but if it is unique enough, perhaps they shall remember it for life.
Learning to use my enthusiasm, passion for making music is something that I have recently thought about too. For the past year or so, I have been lamenting the fact that I lacked the peers to play music with. It is so simple really. How is it that making music is difficult for a music teacher/student??? After attending the recent Casio conference, I realized that I have the tools necessary to do so, even if it means playing music alone. There are so many resources out there like Karaoke videos on Youtube and I can attest to the fact that my music making has increased in the past week and I no longer dread technical exercises on my cello anymore. If anything, I’m training my listening skills and improving my intonation. I also decided to make use of the small percussions that I have (eg. tablet cajon, tambourine) in my piano lessons. I dare say it has piqued some interesting response from my most difficult students and I hope this positive outcome will continue.
Just like Julie who sadly lost her ability to sing after a serious operation, I finally found some new avenues and aspirations to pursue my passion. A very good reflection and reminder indeed.