18. November 2010 · Comments Off on What Do Students Want? · Categories: Ramble

I just read this on twitter:

I’d like to see fewer tweets discussing the problems in classical music and more tweets about what you’re doing to help the art form survive

I suggested he go first, and he wrote about the work he’s doing with something called the YOURSProject:

At its core, #YOURSproject is a social project – keeping these kids off the streets by putting instruments in their hands.

The Yours Project reminded me of the time I spent volunteering at some local high schools. For a year I coached a woodwind quintet. Another few years I spent assisting a high school band director by giving private lessons to whatever oboist was there.

And you know what? Both were total failures. Truly.

The woodwind quintet fell flat. It started out okay, but everyone lost their energy. I finally realized that a couple of the kids simply didn’t want to do it. When you have a couple who are really not into something, it just doesn’t work. The oboe lessons didn’t work either. While the students seemed to want to play oboe, they sure didn’t want to do any practicing at all. I think they were hoping I’d have a magic key that made oboe playing easy.

I occasionally look back on those volunteer moments and wonder why I was such a huge failure. If I went back now would I have the same results? I really love teaching privately here in my home studio. Why was it such a huge failure to go out to schools and do what I did? When something is free do students look at it differently? Do I? What do students want?

Just wondering out loud here.

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