Just this past week I had a breakthrough with one of my private violin students. Not only did she speak to me, but called me by name. This is a child who had not spoken to me since she started lessons in September.
This is not the first time I have had a student who would not speak to me. I had another who did not speak for about two years. The thing I find interesting with quiet students is that often their parents try really hard to get them to talk to me. I actually have no problem with non-speaking students. I relate to these children!
When I was a child I was extremely shy. I did not speak to my teachers unless it was absolutely necessary, certainly did not talk to my neighbours, and often managed to get my teachers to let me stay inside during recess. This was my public face. At home I was a talkative, bubbly child. It was always a surprise to my friends to come over to my house and see me in my home environment. My mom was telling me the other day that she thinks I was in junior high before I actually spoke to any of our neighbours.
With my students, I always try to give them the time and space to become comfortable with me and to start speaking on their own terms. There has so far always come a time when the child has started speaking, in both cases calling me by name. Even as a person who is shy by nature, it still surprised me, however I did my best not to react too much. Nothing will make a shy child clam up more than someone making a big deal over him/her speaking!
I know that for some people who are more outgoing it is odd to run into someone who is not interested in speaking a whole lot. With most children, it really is just a matter of time and comfort. I went from being a very shy child to now being a musician and teacher. I have been self-employed for at least 6 years now and have to be in communication with others all the time. I love being on stage and in the spotlight. You never know that a child will end up doing later in life!
I love this time of year. Actually, I love many times of the year! The thing I love about right now is that it is a chance to start over! It is a chance to look at where you are and decide where you want to go. I try not to get too much into the New Year’s resolution, but I certainly spend some time evaluating my life and looking at what I want to change. So, what are my goals for this year?
Goal #1: Continue working on improving my health. I have lost 40 pounds since January of 2010. The year 2011 was a hard year as I lost weight, gained it back when my father died, lost weight again, and then gained weight at Christmas… I think in 2011 that in the end I stayed the same weight. I know that weight is not the best way to evaluate your health, but for me a number is something to work with… No set goals, but I want to continue on my path of improving…
Goal #2: Perform the cello in public. I have been taking cello lesson for two years now and have only played in public at student recitals and the Fredericton Music Festival. I think it will soon be time to take it public!
Goal #3: Give back to my community more. I am really lucky to be able to be a professional musician. It is a lot of work, but I feel like I am lucky to be able to work for myself doing something that I love! I really can’t imagine working a day job now. I quit my last day job in 2005… I do feel though like I take a lot and don’t give back as much… I feel like I am always asking people to buy my CD, pay money to come see me perform… I have a project in mind for giving back, so more will come of this later!
Goal #4: Become more proactive in all of my business so that I can deal with everything in a timely manner and not end up always being reactive and working in a panic. I have been working on returning phone calls and e-mails more promptly yet feel there is still room for improvement.
Goal #5: Record and release a CD of Christmas music.
Goal #6: Start a series of intimate concerts in the style of house concerts. Keep posted for the first concert in February!
There are many more goals I am sure, but this is what has come to mind for now. Hopefully I will accomplish some of these goals. They are all achievable, so now to work!