“Ganito (like this) teacher?”
“Oo, tama. Magaling! (Yes, correct. Very good!).”
One of the most basic things that every musician needs to know is how to count in time. Teaching music to the youth here, I have never counted so much in my entire life as I do now,
“one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four, three, two, three four, four, two, three, four…”
“A five, six, five six, seven eight…”
Sometimes I count and clap the rhythm along with the kids and they just clap their little hearts out…but they still can’t clap on rhythm. It’s quite cute actually. But it’s a triumphant day when they finally get it. However, until then, it’s just repeating that rhythm over and over and over…
As a teacher I sometimes watch my students struggle and struggle, while I sit there and wonder when they will ever grasp the skill I am teaching. And then comes that one moment, so suddenly and unexpected where they finally get it. Something just cliques and their talent takes off in an explosion of musical goodness. It’s at those times where a smile spreads across my face so big and I can barely contain myself just listening to that student play. It’s a beautiful moment.
My students continue to surprise me with each new class.
I was going to be absent for two weeks from work while at some trainings and I told my guitar students to practice a recently learned but complicated strum pattern while I was gone. When I returned from my trip and we resumed our class, I asked them to show me what they had been practicing. With excited faces and a scamper to grab their guitars, they played for me. All of them had the rhythm down perfect. I was so proud.
There’s just something different about watching a kid learn an instrument from anything I have ever experienced. Their raw determination and persistence is both refreshing and inspirational. It’s a privilege indeed to witness their developing talent and the look in their eyes when they realize that an entirely new world has just opened up for them.
a girl who dreams