My Favorite Music Teacher

by Gabrielle
(Lake Jackson, Texas, US )

My favorite teacher was my percussion instructor during my undergraduate and graduate studies. Not only did he push me to become a great player and performer, but everything we learned in our lessons and classes has applied to me as a teacher, too.

He would explain everything to me in terms that I could explain to my students – the how and why, which are extremely important to understand when learning anything. His kind attitude inspired me to work hard, but at times when I did not work as hard as I could, he was stern enough to bring me back to the road of my possibility.

He loved to have fun, that was one of the things I took away from our time together, and working hard and seeing the results from that was fun. We spent entire lessons working on techniques like triangle, tambourine, and cymbal playing. We would play along with recordings of essential orchestra pieces until I mastered the excerpt, and we would be smiling and laughing the entire time. This is what made me want to become a teacher, too.

He also went out of his way to make sure I had every opportunity to succeed, traveling many miles with rented trucks and large equipment to different music competitions. He pushed everyone to have at least one or two personal recitals a year, honing our performance skills. He even increased our lesson time from the standard one-hour lesson per week, to two; and the entire time, he related everything to pedagogy.

Nothing seemed hard or difficult because he explained everything in a simple and easily understood way, and expected us to be able to understand and explain things in the same way to others. That, coupled with extreme encouragement, produced highly successful players from his studio, and good people that will no doubt remember him and talk about him for the rest of our lives.

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