Saturday, July 16, 2011

Give a Little, Get a Ton Back!

I had a huge revelation the other day.  I LOVE teaching.  As much as people say that teaching is a great way to enrich others' lives in our community, I have to say that it feels a bit selfish, because I love it so much and it gives ME such great joy.  Not only that, but the more I teach, the more I learn about drumming and the more I learn to be a better teacher.

It's not that I simply love the subject matter... that goes without saying.  We all know that I can talk drums and music 'til the cows come home.  It's not that I simply love my students and their families, and I do.  It's more than that...

I'll give you a great example.  One of my beloved students had a birthday this past week.  I went to his 9th birthday party and was delighted when he wanted to entertain his friends by playing a few songs for them on drums.  He preceded to blast through the Beatles catalog, eyes closed, head bopping, and drumsticks blazing.  I couldn't have been happier.  HE couldn't have been happier.  And he, his parents, and I all shared an enormous sense of pride in his accomplishment.  I remember two years ago when we were just starting and it was a challenge just to stay focused on drums for a whole lesson and now look at him!!!

Here's another recent example.  I have yet another student who has decided to try for jazz band at school next year.  I was surprised because he is usually interested in learning pretty heavy rock tunes and concepts, so I wasn't sure how much he would embrace the jazz approach.  Well, we got started on some jazz grooves and concepts and I have never seen him so dedicated and determined to nail his assignments!  He has been blasting through the material with more speed and success than I was able to as a college student.  He has discovered a style of music that is a whole new world to him and grabbed the bull by the horns!  He may not even yet realize the musical doors and opportunities that will open for him or the skills that he is gaining now that he has begun to explore another genre, but I do.

It's amazing to me how satisfying it is to see a student succeed.  When I say succeed, I mean that on many levels.  To see a student realize that reading notation is not quite as cryptic as it once seemed, to hear a student play that first drum beat that puts all of their coordination and concentration to the test, to go to a student's first gig, or to just see them smile proudly when they have grasped a concept that was completely foreign to them just minutes before, it is enormously gratifying.

Is there something that you love to do?  Do you play an instrument, work on cars, paint with watercolors, play golf or love to garden?  If there is something you love to do and it gives you great satisfaction to explore it, than consider teaching someone else that skill.  You don't even have to be a master or virtuoso at it.  I have been corrected by students before who have caught my notation mistakes, and it really boosts their confidence!  And, by sharing your passion you can open a door of exploration for someone. You may ignite someone's creativity in a way they have never experienced.  It will only give you a greater passion for your art.  You will give the gift of knowledge, forge a new or deeper relationship with someone, and feel a sense of pride that you have never felt before.  Rock on!    

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Rachel! Great examples - I can just picture that little boy at his birthday party. I'm so glad you love teaching and I'm sure you're an awesome teacher!