I’ve had a few great moments teaching over the last few weeks.
One I wrote about on Facebook getting a group of difficult kids to kazoo instead of sing. They are too cool to sing. In fact, they told me they HATE singing. But they kazooed over and over. It was excellent.
I gave different group of kids different kazoos, and watched one little girl who is generally really passive in music class (shy? can’t work out if I am friend of foe? haven’t worked her out yet….) absolutely kill herself with laughter as the rest of her class kazooed a children’s song. Thigh-slapping, red-faced guffawing. It was excellent.
I had another group of children perform ‘Advance Australia Fair’ in a combination of Dharug, Dharawal and English to their school principal yesterday. They sang so very proudly. As far as I’m concerned, this is the way our National Anthem should be sung, until we get another one. First in the local Indigenous language, and then in English. I watched these children stand like a professional group of singers and just let rip. It was excellent.
But best of all was probably a lesson I taught to a grown-up student. I don’t have many of these (as in grown-up students), and I like teaching them a lot. I was feeling inspired after a series of yoga classes. I realise that I’m taught at yoga with no judgement (everyone judges. All the time. I’m not writing about judgement again. I’ve been accused of it a number of times (judging – not writing about it). And I do judge. But mostly me. Did I teach the best I could do today? Did I play as beautifully as I could just then?). Sorry. I digress. Back to teaching with no judgement. I’m asked in yoga to experience. But not judge. So I tried it in a cello lesson. I don’t think you could do this with children. At least not little ones. I asked this student to play. And then listen. What was wrong? Not good, or bad, but just inaccurate. How was it inaccurate? (Not what did they do to make it inaccurate – see the difference here? It’s quite liberating!) And I watched this student really enjoy themselves.
It was strange for me, as a teacher. I was fairly passive. I felt a little bit like I was directing a river, but not interrupting the flow of it. It was great for me to experience. I’ll probably do it again. Not all the time, mind, as I didn’t impart much actual nuts-and-bolts knowledge, but it was a great process.
So today I’ve judged my teaching.
I’ve judged music-making.
I think everyone should do it all the time. In a non-judging, kazooing, proud sort of way.