Saturday, April 8, 2017

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Words

Some Selfies Just Don't Work
What are You Standing On Now My Dear. . . ?
Bill and the kids went to the cabin. I went to Owatanna to judge the piano kids there. The Owatanna kids played well and the church was beautiful. I wrote comments as fast as I could for five hours and my hand is totally cramped. . . Judging kids is not easy. How accurate did they play? How expressive? How stylistically correct? All things equal. . . how much do they love the piece ? Try not be influenced by flip flops. Do the best you can.

The waves have been rolling along pretty well here, but Holy Week is coming and Bravo and the undercurrent is churning. Bravo is the big high school production. Next week they have rehearsals from 2:30-10:00 Monday through Friday. Calvin is one of two drum set players for the show. Then, I guess one of the pianists flaked out (how rare. . . pianists are so stable) and so he's going to play piano on the pieces he's not playing set on. Never a dull moments. The theme is Las Vegas and Bill is losing sleep over whether they will swing like Sinatra with Count Basie. We all have our crosses to bear.

Mary has been playing up a storm on the piano. We've been in a good groove right up until Friday morning. Of course it is a complete coincidence that I would lose it when I have had about four nights in a row of five hours of sleep. Far be it from me to not rise above my own fatigue. And. . . we have a masterclass with a guest teacher in two weeks and my ego is creeping in and Mary's piece is still a little fresh. Mary got braces on Monday and is still medicating her hives. All these planets align for the Mama to lose it.

What triggers an experienced teacher and loving mother to completely come unglued? Those two terrible horrible no good very bad words, upon their forth or fifth repetition. . .  "I KNOW." Since you asked, it was one of the cadence points in the Daquin Cuckoo. The fingering. Finger three on E to be exact. Not that I remember.

This week I held it in when a little piano kid/child of God said those terrible horible no good very bad words "I don't care." I held it in and responded lovingly and it was from my heart when I said, those words are not okay in this studio.

But when it's your own kid and she mumbles equally as disturbing words under her own breath and you only have five hours of sleep once in a blue moon you let it all hang out. Sarcasm included.

Talking about shame is supposed to help. . . so here are the terrible horrible no good very bad words I said, "Actually, I don't think you DO know it or you wouldn't keep playing it wrong." Only in all caps.

Tears are instantaneous and genuine.
So are apologies.

Start from ground zero and build trust again. That's all you can do. Dr. Suzuki asks us to reflect. And reflect. And reflect.

Don't let yourself get tired.
Don't do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
Isolate an issue/task and make a game.
Solidify it out of context.
Put it back together.

It's not okay when "I know" sounds disrespectful. But part of the secret of working with your own child is treating them just as carefully as you would treat someone else's child. This time, I didn't.

Mary, if you are reading this, and I know eventually you will. I'm sorry I lost my temper. You are an utterly amazing piano kid/child of God/child of mine. Practicing with you and Calvin everyday is the greatest honor and blessing of my entire life. I'm sorry for the times I hurt your feelings and I vow to do my best to be a patient and loving teacher.
Amen, tomorrow is a new day.