Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rock, (teach), and Roll

I have been teaching various students on and off for the past few years. Each has a unique personality and skill set. Just by the nature of everyone being a bassist, we're all a bit weird. Tonight I had a revelation in my teaching, however. It's not often that I talk about how fortunate I feel to teach music. I am getting paid to experience growth in my students and in myself. My sustenance derives from intense personal experiences.

You might be asking yourself why I am especially excited about my teaching experience this week. I didn't make extra money or cry as my student performed on stage. I am ecstatic because I taught a brand new student how to play "Smoke on the Water" on electric bass. Not just any new student, someone who had never played any music before in his life. I think he's ever sung in a choir.

While I primarily teach upright bass, electric bass has always been another part of my life. I started playing electric first anyways. You can thank my friend's dad for convincing me to play bass in his son's band. I am grateful for my experiences in a band so I hope to share that with others. In the same way, I am grateful for my experiences in orchestras, chamber ensembles, new music ensembles, and jazz ensembles. I hope to pass along those skills as well. Tonight I realized the extent that pluralism in music can affect people. Not everyone needs to play Classical music to be happy. I also realized that it feels good when you're student describes his lesson as "awesome" when talking to his Mom.

While I was teaching I sat intently watching my student struggle to hold his oversized electric bass and thought about his potential. Through some bizarre series of events in the universe this 12-year-old boy is now taking lessons from me. It's my duty to turn him into a rockstar.

No comments: