Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On being a violin teacher, part 1

I'm titling this blog "Part 1" because I hope to do a better job in the future of collecting these little vignettes from the life of a violin teacher. I'm not nearly as good at remembering all the great stuff as my friend Joanna, the piano teacher, who's always full of great stories. But here's a start.

One of the assignments I give to all my students each week is to write down the title and composer of one piece of classical music they listened to that week. One fifth-grade girl showed me her assignment, a piece she listened to by Tchaikovski--perfectly spelled, but she said she didn't know how to pronounce his name. After instructing her on the pronunciation, I wanted to make a connection to help her remember this composer, since he is a pretty important one to know about. I asked her if she had ever seen The Nutcracker at Christmastime, to which she replied, "I've seen the Barbie version!" Good enough.

Today I was handed this piece of paper from another fifth grader. The student dutifully informed me the composer was Bach. I realize he did write a Coffee Cantata (this is true), but I was not aware that he wrote a piece to go with it for his afternoon snack.

Perhaps the Bach she had in mind was PDQ?

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