I've taught lessons at Schmitt Music for nearly the past four years. Parting ways was always inevitable, but it's beginning to kick in that I won't be going there anymore. The majority of students have been piano and guitar, with the occasional vocal lesson scattered in. I averaged 25-30 students a week during this time, and I feel like I've seen everything in a fairly short amount of time. The kids' unsuspectingly witty humor and downright unintentional rudeness never ceased to baffle / entertain me. My last day was last Wednesday. I no longer teach there, and it's rather bittersweet. In switching locations, I've unfortunately lost a few dear students whom I had become very close with.
There's something about chatting with a kid nearly every week for 3 years. You're more invested in their life than many of the kids in their class. Gaining their trust is essential for them to learn quicker, so I answered questions about everything from my (lack of) relationship status, to my hobbies, and outside-of-schmitt work. I sang way too much 'Frozen' soundtrack, jammed to highschool musical duets, and helped kids write songs. I had parents tell me that music and my teaching was helping them cope with bullies at school, which gave me tears of sadness and joy. It's always encouraging to know I made a difference while I was there. These kids have taught me so much about music, and really life in general. Life was really much simpler at that age. I don't really remember my thought processes when I was that young, but I can see how they think every single day, and it really amuses me. There's also something about being a fill-in psychologist for kids who have a rough life at home. Some would cry and talk about their problems, and I would do my best to help them out. Some would greet me at the studio with a big hug telling me they couldn't wait for lessons. Occasionally when I asked what their favorite part of the week was, some would say, 'the last lesson.'. I get to keep some of the kids, but I will certainly miss some of them that I don't.
Leaving a job of 4 years felt similar to leaving high school for me - it hit me once I sat down in the car after my last day. I'm really not going back, but I'm anticipating future adventures. Now for a few notes of thanks to the ever-great Schmitt Music, as well as a few things I've learned.
1.) Musical Ability
I wouldn't be anywhere near the musician I am today without the job. I applied with the idea of selling instruments and working the till, but they threw me into teaching. Teaching well requires an even further knowledge of the instrument, understanding of theory, and note-reading ability. Without teaching, I would have never been pushed to learn new things so quickly.
The second facet to my musical ability is those I met while working at Schmitt. Each employee, but particularly my manager, has influenced my playing and how I've learned while I was there.
2.) Kids are savages.
I love kids with all my heart, but they don't know the implications of their statements, and I really enjoy that.
3.) John Mayer
Without Schmitt, I probably wouldn't have been influenced by John Mayer quite as much as I am right now. My manager showed me his goodness, and that influence is important enough to make the list.
4.) Lifelong Friendships (with employees)
Without getting too sentimental or sappy, I made some great friendships that will last until I die, or they do.
Many of you have enjoyed my students' actions over the past few years, and I put together some of my favorites over my time at schmitt.
I'll still be teaching in my new studio, but I have around 15 students and am focusing much more of my time on photography.
"I jokingly asked my youngest piano student what he was going to get me for my birthday next week, so he asks me how old I'll be, and I say, 21. He then smiles big and says, "My dad will buy you '34 sack of beer'..." Oh kids"
Today I learned from the same snobby piano student as last week that;
"You smell like my grandmothers stew."
"Your hair is too long."
"Ew, you need to shave, your beard is scaring me."
"You have interesting eyelashes - and that's a compliment."
A direct quote from a piano student today: "Why don't you go back to school, don't you want a career?" "I can't afford to go to school right now."
Her: "My family is really rich."
"Okay, little snob, at least I can play the piano." is what I would have loved to say:)
Tonight my 1st grade piano student turns to his next page and exclaims, "This song is harder than a butt-load of socks"
I completely lost it. Kids are great.
Taught a new piano student today. She guessed that I was 30 years old. She was seriously surprised that I was younger than her mother. What.
Tonight my 2nd grade piano student was talking about how he recently started gymnastics and had a lot of fun on the "balance bean". Kids are great.
So my 2nd grade piano student comes into his lesson earlier tonight and I asked him how piano is going and he replied, "Piano is on the top of my not fun list, along with squash"
"No offense, but I can sing higher and better than you can...but no offense" - Piano student
"I have to shower twice a week because my mom is mean" - One of mypiano students
6 year old girl piano student: You shaved again?! Your hair was doing so great.
"Sometimes when I talk my hiccups interrupt me" - piano student
Today I was telling a 3rd grade piano student how I was going to go to a softball league game with guys from Delta. He goes, "do you play?"
I said, "No. I just watch. Do you think I could?"
He glances down at my belly, looks back at me, smiles and shakes his head." So shameless, so cute.
"Was there such thing as trampolines when you were little?" - 2nd grade (boy) piano student
No - They weren't invented yet, because that's how old I am.
I was singing along with a 7 year old piano student of mine while she was playing, when she stops and turns to me...
"You can't sing, because you're not handsome. You're like an old man."
I asked one of my high school piano students what he was going to do after he graduated. Without skipping a beat, he sang Dr. Dre's line, "smoke weed every day."
I recently shaved my head again. An 8 year old piano student goes, "Why are you bald.....Don't you want a girlfriend?!" He's always trying to give me relationship advice.
"Your bald head makes you look like Squidward." - Piano Student
**Piano student sees me snapchatting**
"Hey, let's be friends on snapchat - actually never mind, I don't wanna be friends with you."
**Student takes my phone and takes a snapchat.**
7 year old student walks into the piano lesson... "Alright, let's get this over with."
Piano student is playing an Ed Sheeran love song and when it references kissing, she stops playing and says,
"Speaking of kissing, do you have a girlfriend yet? You're going to be single your whole life if you don't find one."
Piano student today: "If 'the Blues' were a a person, I would've killed it by now."
"How was your week?"
Piano student: "Good. Grandma came over. We spent all her money."
"You'd be a good funeral player." - Piano Student
"I didn't practice because I forgot and I didn't want to." - Student
Me: "Why are you laughing?"
Student: "Your scarf."
Student: "Men look dumb with scarves on."
Adult struggles as described by my 7 year old student: "I was going to go on a play-date with Hudson. He's REALLY, really handsome, and he's really nice to me, but now he has a girlfriend. I wish I was his girlfriend."
A 2nd grade student - out of the blue says,
"You know how your rule is no farts? Then you wouldn't want my dad as astudent....you don't know what happens at night. That room is full of skunks."
Literally the first thing my 5th grade student says today.
"I'm going to be honest with you, you look better with hair."
So much about my baldness lately.
"What happens if you don't practice guitar?"
7th grade girl: "I get grounded, which means no phone, which is bad...because boy crush...and he likes me back too (big smile), but we go to different schools, but we can't date because I have to wait until I'm 16 because it's a proven fact that kids that start to date at 12 years old do bad things and my dad says I shouldn't date til I'm 30 - and I won't have kids til I'm out of college because you can't do anything with them. They will keep me away from the bars, when I'm old enough, anyway.
A first grade student brought in her new Shel Silverstein book so she could read me some poems. She said she normally reads them to her dog.
I love a 5 year old students understanding of the death of her cat.
"He had a bump on his head so he died. We burned the cat. It's called cremating. They took her ashes and hid them in a pot so we don't look at it and be sad."
"I have a fun song for you to play."
Student: "Your typical fun is hard."
Student: "I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right."
"You're lucky I said please, because I'm going to be nice to you today." - 7 year old student