Concrete, observable, and reproducible.
Any assignment you give a student in a lesson should be those things.
Concrete (something very specific that they can do), observable (they can tell what it is and what they should see or hear happening) and reproducible (they can practice it at home and understand what they are doing). Or maybe I’m not describing that very well. You probably get the idea though.
I drove home from Ottawa, Kansas yesterday. It’s lovely to be back, but I’m overwhelmed by what a wonderful week it was. Returning home from Institute is always overwhelming, because there is just so MUCH that I learn and observe that it takes awhile to get back to normal. Not to mention that the Institute setting is so unlike the real world, it is so much more utopian in nature, that it’s strange to return to normalcy. My brain is racing with ideas, and wishes, and hopes for the future as far as my teaching and my students…it’s overwhelming. Did I say overwhelm too many times?
And I’ll miss my friends, new (especially new) and old. Holly, thank you for being so beautiful on the inside and the outside, and for letting me discover I can be completely at peace not ever being the most beautiful girl in the room, at least when the most beautiful girl in the room is so freaking cool ;) And Michaela, thank you for being so adorable, kind and energetic, and for making me feel young!
Yesterday morning there were still classes to be observed. We hit up Scott Conklin’s group for the last time, and Terry Durbin’s Book 4 Masterclass.
Then we had our last hour of teacher training class. That led to a whole HOST of thoughts as Susan and the class thought I carried a lot of tension in my neck (while playing) that DOWN THE ROAD might lead to pain while playing. I tried to explain that for me, pain while playing is hardly a "down the road" type of event but more of a "since I was 13 years old" thing, but that fell on deaf ears. I did realize that I need to get back into practicing more and put more thought into my setup though, as I haven’t done that in some time and my body has changed a bit over the past two years. We are told to keep careful watch on our students as their bodies change, and I haven’t done the same for myself. I will.
And there’s Susan Kempter, my teacher all week. She is truly inspiring and brilliant!
Farewell Ottawa Suzuki Institute! Until we meet again.
(I will probably do a follow up post in a few days with afterthoughts, just fyi. So it’s goodbye for now.)