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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000179.txt from 2002/05

Subj: [kl] Speak!
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 11:45:56 -0400

Jean Marie wrote,
>My teacher this year has talked a lot about my very first lesson teacher
>and a lot of tihings he may have done wrong. Like tap the beat on me
>harder and harder if I couldn't keep time, or make me feel ashamed if my
>lesson wasn't prefect in a week and punish me with memorization work.

IMHO, memorization work should not be used as a punishment. Beatings are
more effective.

;-) Just kidding.

But seriously, I hope you'll be able to forget that particular lesson and
begin thinking of memorization as a valuable skill that you decide to perfect
because it can help you play better and enjoy your music more.

Tapping on the student is an expedient way for a teacher to communicate a
rhythm. However, if a teacher who's otherwise inoffensive develops the bad
habit of touching you in an intrusive, personal-space-invading way, or
touching you despite your strong preference not to be touched, then there's a
nearly foolproof way to put a stop to it: Jump a foot in the air (scattering
as many papers as possible), *scream* at the top of your lungs, then say
coolly, "Oh, sorry. You startled me." Make sure your tone of voice suggests
that you're not sorry at all, not upset, and not embarrassed, either: It's
*the teacher's* fault, not yours. By all means graciously allow the teacher
to retrieve the spilled papers, pick up the fallen music stand, etc.. Most
likely, s/he will never touch you again. That tactic will often work even
with the Dirty Old Man or the Dirty Old Woman, too, BTW, especially if there
are other people in the building, because the DOM or the DOW doesn't want to
attract attention.

Your new teacher has
>>been trying to figure out to what extent this may have impacted me.>>

Few human beings get through life without somebody-or-other's negativism
impacting somehow, but I suggest that you not encourage the new teacher to
spend a lot of time measuring methods against the old teacher or dwelling on
the past. Let the new teacher represent a fresh start.

"He who walks forward while looking backward crashes into tree."
--Charlie Chan

>And I'm wondering what your first teachers were like. And what age did
>you start lessons, I started in sixth grade, and had been playing since

I'm a 53-year-old amateur on several ("Too many," remarks the cat...)
instruments. I've never taken clarinet lessons. I started piano with my
mother when I was about four, and also took piano and organ lessons
haphazardly from various relatives when they were convenient. That's not as
bad as it sounds, because my mother and the relatives were former or
then-present music teachers. I started clarinet in the grade school band at
age 9, then graduated to weekly lessons from a *paid* piano teacher who was
not a member of the family when I turned twelve.

If I could live those years over again with a larger budget, I would have
preferred to begin with that non-family piano teacher about five years
earlier and I would have started private clarinet lessons at age 9 and
continued them at least until the end of high school. Still, I can't really
complain, since I didn't have the right stuff to become a pro musician

Good luck with this new teacher, who sounds much better than your previous
Lelia Loban


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