Lately I have been surfing blogs and thinking, "Gee, why haven't they posted for awhile?" Today I decided to stop being a hypocrite and post something myself. I really don't have any great wisdom to share, or any exciting experiences to share, but I thought I would let you know I'm still alive.
We had our second piano lesson with the Spanish congregation last Wednesday. For the first class I had prepared 13 folders with music. I planned to give 6 to the teachers, and 7 to the students. I ended up giving all to the students. The second week I decided to be generous and make 10 more folders of music. I planned to give 5 to the teachers (one teacher might drop out) and 5 to new students. I ended up giving away everything I made, and lacked some. NEW students came! It seemed like many of the first week students didn't come, and many new students did. I told them we need to have a cut off, and no more new students. We are looking at about 20 something right now, and we just don't have the teachers to handle that many. On Sunday they announced in church that we aren't taking any more new students, so I hope that I won't show up Wednesday and find 5 more new ones.
Last week's lesson was very interesting to teach. I ended up having 5 students come with me in my individual class. When I so carefully planned this a month ago, I had planned that we would have individual 10 minute lessons with each student. But now that so many students have shown up, we are having to be flexible. I had everyone sit in a circle, and I demonstrated on the keyboard what I wanted them to do, then had them each come up and take turns. I had them sight reading their first piece of music. Taking turns this way worked out pretty well. There was one woman who was really struggling (I kind of doubt she will come back), and also doesn't speak english. One of the other students was able to explain to her. I think this is great because the student who explained actually learns more from teaching than the students who just watched.
I have to say that I admire their enthusiasm for learning. I love that many men have come to learn. We also have quite a few young girls. It's amazing how fast children learn. They don't have the same inhibitions as adults. This started out as a project for their women's group, but without my knowing it, they opened it up to the entire congregation (10 years old and up). But they are all anxious to learn, and seem very happy to have the opportunity.
I have noticed that for some of my teachers this is very difficult. They don't have the vision that I do, and they struggle to believe that this is going to work. I don't want this to be a burden for them, and I try to encourage them to hang in there and be flexible, but each time a new student shows up, I see the concern on their faces. I understand how they feel, I'm feeling it too. I am thinking to myself, "How can we possibly handle another student?". But there is a difference between me and the other teachers. I feel this great drive to do this. I feel like this is something I have to do. I have to try even if we don't succeed. I know we are kind of flying by the seat of our pants, learning how to do this as we go along, but I think it is going to work. If I can just get some of them to the point where they can start reading music and picking out songs by themselves, I will feel like it has been worth the sacrifice.