I have a habit of asking my students how they are when they walk into the studio. Actually, the conversation usually goes like this:

Me: “Well hello there! And how are you today?”

Student: “Tired.”

Me: “Well, that’s nothing new. And how’s the oboe?”

Student: “Okay.”

I hereby announce that I am not going to be asking my students those two questions. They call for no creativity. Every student answers in the same way. At least most of the time. So this has got to stop! I’m tired of students saying they are tired. And I’ll know whether the oboe is really “okay” shortly after they sit down anyway!

I do wish students weren’t so tired all the time. It’s very troubling to have exhausted students sitting there attempting to play. Or looking very glum that they must attempt to play. It’s sometimes very difficult to keep my own energy level up when they give off “weary vibes.” Maybe next time I’ll just suggest that the student can pay for a nap.

Just kidding, of course. But students, perhaps you could think of something else to say if I forget I said I wasn’t going to ask how you are. Even if you just say something like “Well, I could have more energy but I’m ready for a lesson now so I’ll hang in there for the next hour or so!”

Please? :-)

I love teaching you. Really I do! I just want you to be present here, if you know what I mean!


  1. Arjun Muralidharan

    Good point. I feel guilty, because I used to say that a lot as well.

    Point was, High School was hard, and guitar was just one subject I had among 9 others… we were all tired, all the time.

    It took these past 6 months of college to realise what “tired” really means…

  2. It’s interesting being at this end of the comment, rather than the ‘tired end”. Or … well … truth be told, I’m often awfully tired when a student arrives too! I just can’t SAY that I am, as that might sound as if I don’t want to be teaching. (Just as it sounds like the student doesn’t want to have a lesson.) I have a feeling, too, that some students give me that answer so that when they make mistakes they can blame it on being tired rather than the (very likely) possibility that they haven’t practiced enough! :-)

    Heh … tired is tired … college can certainly do that to some folks. Especially music majors, who take so many more units than folks in other areas. But just think — you get out of college and your off to work for the remainder of your life! ;-)