Neighborhood teacher

I gave three lessons today. My student, Rudi, who lives in Washington DC half the year is back in town. He is a retiree and continues to amaze me with his energy. After he retired he decided he wanted to study piano and study the pronunciation of French. That was some years ago. Since then I have taught him half the year. He has another teacher in Washington D.C. that teaches him when he’s there. This amazing gentleman celebrated his 70th birthday while studyign at the Sorbonne and living in his son’s empty apartment. What a dude.

My other piano student is an adult beginner. He has been taking lessons from me for several months. I also teach guitar to a gentleman who plays at my church.

I do enjoying teaching. I find it very creative to watch and analyse how students are approaching music. It is satisfying to help them (in the current horrible phrase) connect the dots.

My guitarist has never studied music and has played guitar in church only. He is a stockbroker and a bright guy. But he is having difficulty conceptualizing just how the notes work on the guitar (you can play chords by position and not know anything about notes which is how a lot of guitarists play). But tonight I watched some lights go off in his head when I asked him over to the keyboard and taught him the notes on the keyboard.

I use the hot dog method with people trying to learn notes on the keyboard. This means that the note that nestles between the two black note group can be thought of as a hot DDDDog between the black note buns. This note is D. then I teach the musical alphabet: D,E,F,G and then not H but A and start over. This might sound a bit confusing in prose. I always do it with someone sitting right at the piano. That seems to help.

Anyway, I like teaching.

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