Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Moments In Teaching is a new series I will be publishing that outlines some of the best moments I have experienced while teaching. These experiences can range from breakthrough's, a nice gift, or hearing about how lessons have impacted their lives.
Everything in this article is confidential and I will not release any names what so ever. Alright... Here we go.
I began my teaching studio in Eugene, Oregon during September 2018. Still in school, I was taking a more casual approach to the business.
After a month of no leads, I had finally gotten one! Woohoo! I was so incredibly stoked. Weekly lessons for an hour? Sweet!
Let's say his name was 'lamp'
Lamp was a 17 year old kid who had been begging his parents for bass lessons. It was really interesting meeting him, way taller than me, and knew more advant garde artists than I could care to know. Lamp was already a fantastic player and just loved the bass. Which made things pretty easy for me as an instructor.
The weeks went on. We covered fundamental music theory, how to read jazz charts, learning what the heck a bass cleff is, and so on.
We all know the timeline of the world. In March the pandemic hit and Lamp was one of the few remaining students. He kept pushing forward even though he was about to graduate into one of the worst economic and grim looking futures.
About five months later he had hit a real wall. Practicing became a difficult task, music was losing it's allure, and by the sounds of it life was just feeling incredibly difficult for poor Lamp. As I do with all student's I gave them as inspiring as a talk I could give. Thus leaving the role as instructor, and putting on the mentor hat.
This led him to saying one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
Lamp said that these lessons were his motivation to continue to play music. He went on to say that they increased his overall well being, and ultimately ended by telling me he hopes to be in a similar place in life when he's my age. Both as a musician and a person.
I still think about this moment over a year later. It's a reminder that I am doing exactly what I should be doing in life. Music lesson's are not just about helping people learn music, but helping them navigate lifes up's and down's. At times it's more mentorship than instruction and that's when the magic really happens.