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Pauline Lerner

The Rewards of Teaching Violin

October 21, 2005 at 7:14 AM

Being a violin teacher can be very rewarding, although not in a financial way. I always feel excited when something musical clicks in one of my students. It’s as though a gate has been opened to untold vistas. It happened with one of my students this week. M is a fifth grader with a lot of brains and determination, in addition to an unusually good sense of what she can do well and what she needs helpwith. This combination of traits has helped her learn a lot of violin techniques which are real challenges. Now she has had a breakthrough. She is no longer just playing notes. She is playing music! Her musical talent and capability for expression are shining. I told her mother about this, and her mother said that M has a new attitude towards playing her violin now. She is much more enthusiastic and self motivated. Her mother told me that she is very glad to see M happy in her accomplishments, and she thanked me for being a supportive and encouraging teacher. This is very rewarding in many ways.

My new boyfriend is very impressive in a lot of ways. He is very musical. When I’m teaching, he goes to another room, but he listens. After the lesson, he often tells me his impressions of the student. He can tell so much about the student’s musicianship, and he has such good insights. He has never played the violin, although he’s played other instruments and sings beautifully. He and I are sensitive to so many of the same things, but his perspective is different from mine and his perceptions are enriching to me. He is really a wonderful man in many ways, and I feel very lucky to have him.

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