I have undergone many wonderful experiences as a musician and educator, through countless encounters with brilliant teachers who formed my entity, and with many accomplished musicians, some of them world - renown. These experiences have formed a priceless dossier of memories.
However, an ongoing experience constitutes one of my most cherished facets of existence, let alone memories.
Over the years, the hundreds of students I have shared my time with average out to about twelve years of sharing per student, and one of the most engrossing realities in my role as a teacher is that I now have a number of students who are, and have long been, more than students in my life. Allow me to explain:
There are, among those who visit me each week, five adult men, each a professional in something other than music, who have been with me , as described below:
1. A brilliant and much respected engineer, who in 1975, walked into the college I was teaching at, requesting piano lessons, which have been going on ever since.
2. A sophomore at Harvard, who took piano and music theory with me at that point in time,
for additional credits. He is now in his mid - forties, is CEO of his own corporation, and sees me each Tuesday.
3.His daughter started with me; then he followed her onto my path, and has been with me for about eleven years. A brilliant intellect and successful in his field, he shares with me many prized moments of music and discussion about our world.
4.An acknowledged entity in his field, this man followed his son into my studio directly after his young man, who took lessons with me, went off to college.
5. An expert in the medical insurance field, and well recognized for his expertise as a professional working for the state we both live in, waited for a short period after his daughter, who took lessons with me, went off to Notre Dame - he then pounced onto my schedule in her slot, and has been with me for, I can only guess, about twelve to fifteen years.
I can only approximate; however, I come up with a total of approximately ninety years of being with these gentlemen, who are now a world more meaningful to my consciousness than mere students. They have become an intrinsic way of life for me. I have suggested to them more than once that they are no longer taking "lessons" with me; rather, they share "sessions."
I cannot reason as to why this experience exists. I can only continue to relish in this mini-miracle, and tell you that the growth I have seen is unique, in that the usual amount of time someone in my position can be witness to growth is a handful of years, usually around four, if one sees the student during his or her college tenure. In my experiences dealing with these dear friends, which they have become, I have seen musical growth for the number of years they have shared with me, which makes for a truly unique perspective on growth.
I have illimitable gratitude for these experiences, and invite any fellow educators to share with me any similar happenings in their careers.
Labels: a unique experience