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Pauline Lerner


August 4, 2009 at 3:17 AM

It happened again the other day -- an "aha" moment -- Something that makes being a violin teacher so rewarding and so much fun. I can never predict if or when it will happen, and that just makes it more fun.


Beginning violin students need to learn so many seemingly little things and keep them actively in mind all the time they play. For a long time, I have to remind them of something, sometimes even reteach it, while they're playing. Then, unexpectedly, everything comes together, and they can really play. Gone are the obvious struggles, note by note, to get everything right. Out comes real music. This is not to say that they've achieved perfection technically, but their learning happens in the context of making music.

Recently it happened again, and the timing was unusual. This student is an adult player, and she has only been studying for two months. Usually the breakthrough occurs much later.

Usually I notice this happening but my student doesn't. I have to tell the student, over and over, that he's made a great leap forward in just one week. This time was different. My student came in and said, "I feel like I finally got it all together this week." She played, and I agreed with her enthusiastically. I was really excited, and so was she.




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From Fernando Almeida
Posted on August 4, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Nice, it seems you have a talented student! It must be very rewarding when one of your students makes such a good progress.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on August 4, 2009 at 2:23 PM

 Very cool, both for your student and yourself. I live for such aha moments. It's like they're the little lampposts that light the way along an otherwise very long, dark, endless road.

Except - wait - they come at you out of nowhere. Okay, change of analogy. It's like one of those motion-activated outdoor lights that switches on only when you pass, so you're in this murky black, stumbling along and then suddenly... illumination!

Yeah. That's what I meant to say. : )

From Anna Meyer
Posted on August 4, 2009 at 4:10 PM

It must have been quite amazing to discover that AHA moment. My teacher literally jumps up and down when I have AHA moments. They are soo much worth it. I wish your student good luck :)

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 5, 2009 at 4:05 AM

I'm glad to hear that other people have had and enjoyed similar experiences.  Terez, I like both your metaphors.  A seemingly small event can brighten your day or even help you maintain a positive attitude towards life in spite of all its struggles.

From Jim Glasson
Posted on August 5, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Sometimes while practicing I'll have a personal "aha!!" moment when it all miraculously comes together. 

I may loose it again, but the thrill of having it is most enjoyable!!  I can only imagine the excitement  a teacher must have when finally a student "gets it"

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