Memorial Day

Someone whom I respect and care very much for said about Memorial Day, “It really has no meaning for me at all.” I had my jaw sewn back on before she could turn around to see it hanging completely agape. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and posit that it was a throw-away […]

Mark to Market

Actual tweet from a college football player, whose name I will keep to myself: “I do not want to go to school.” As a rabid consumer of college football and active Twitter-er*, I follow lots of “student athletes”, and courtesy of the ubiquitous re-tweet, am privy to the thoughts of many more I do not […]

Identity Crisis

This is partly my fault. But still! Over the past few weeks, I have had numerous students insinuate that I am not a cellist, but only a cello teacher. This bizarre contradiction sometimes makes me laugh. Yesterday however, I stared at my student until beads of sweat appeared on her brow and she started fumbling […]

A question of priority

I’ve devoted numerous posts to jackassery. Students, musicians, massage threrapists, clamshell packaging, my own personal flailings. (flailing does not necessarily equal failing, but it sure looks dorky) I’ve even laid into other teacher archetypes from time to time. It was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again. Ok, it’s not fun, but sometimes […]

First impressions

I have a policy in my studio of never accepting a student who cancels their first lesson. What a meanie, right? And yet, the few times in the past when I have caved into the pressure to be amenable, I have regretted it. The torrential rains of last month were a fantastic gauntlet for my […]

The Sound of Music (Education)

Lobbyists for any cause will invoke its importance, its relevance, its benefit to children. Music gets decimated because although the benefits to students are overwhelming, the people charged with defending its validity appeal to things like motor skills and math and wide-armed Julie Andrews singing during the Anschluss. Since math is already taught, and most […]

A proud Veterans Day, no thanks to Finale.

I had gotten a lot of requests for my arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, so I thought, “This morning, I’ll notate it and put it up. Won’t that be nice?” Of course, since it involved FAILnale Finale software, I had to write some stuff in, like the counterpoint lines. Perhaps it is possible with […]

When to let your kid quit*

Parents have to tread a pretty fine line when it comes to encouraging/harassing/bribing/browbeating their kids to practice an instrument. My angle is that, after the age of 10 or so, it is up to the student whether or not to continue. If the teacher’s guidance is rebuffed for more than 3 lessons (and you need […]

Though they are high in fiber

***Anyone interested in information on the Southern teaching tour, read these posts! *** I’m not sure if it’s an LA phenomenon or if I am just some sort of magnet for silliness, but the past few months have shown me some outrageous behavior from students and parents. I’ve had to stand up against bullies who […]