|Posted on 20 February, 2015 at 23:05|
I started teaching Sunday school at Scott United Methodist Church when I was 11 years old. I arrived at the church a little early on this particular Sunday morning, and Mrs. Pauline Snelling found me waiting in the hallway. I was waiting for my Sunday school teacher, but Mrs. Snelling said "follow me". So I trustingly went with her, and was ushered into a "lion's den" of kindergarten and 1st - 2nd grade Sunday school students. Mrs. Pauline handed me a couple of books, and told me that this would be my class from now on. She left the room, shutting the door behind her. I had played school several times, and of course I attended school frequently, but teach?? Me??! Sunday School?? I was only eleven for goodness sake!
My second experience at teaching began a short time after I started playing for my church's children's choir. A lady from our church wanted to learn to play piano. She approached me, and asked if I would give her piano lessons. Well, I was still eleven, and not equipped to teach. My mother and I spoke with my piano teacher who thought this was an excellent idea. So, my piano teaching career was launched. By the end of the year, I had four piano students!
I have never had the desire to stand in front of a classroom of students to try and teach anything. However, I have found teaching piano to be one of the most rewarding experiences.
To watch tiny fingers that can barely reach from one note to the next play a challenging piece of music - that is a reward!
To see children bouncing to the beat of music - when a few months ago, they didn't know what a beat was - this is a reward! Hearing children and adults who cry "I can't do it", realize that yes, they can do it; and with hard work and practice, they can do it quite well - that is a reward!
To listen to a student play a song for the umpteenth time, and it still sounds like the first time - that is torture :); but when they FINALLY sit down, open the music, and play the song near perfectly - that is a reward!
To teach the concept of playing piano to someone who has never taken piano lessons before, never played piano before is the most awesome reward! It's like teaching a child to read. When the student sounds out the right note, strings the notes together in the correct way to play a tune ... it is like a ch-ching of blessings!
No, playing and teaching piano was not the career path that I would have chosen; but I am so glad that it is not myself who guides my footsteps along the path.