Yesterday I sent one of my long term students off to study with someone new. It made me really proud, and really sad all at the same time.
I always say that the best thing about being a private violin teacher is the relationships I get to build with these kids and their families. I get to watch them grow up and turn into people. And maybe, just maybe, I play a small part in the adults they become.
You see, not every one of them is going to aspire to become a professional musician. In this case, he does and so he needed to graduate from me and study with someone who can take them to the next level. They need to learn to study like a grown up so to speak.
But my hope is that their time with me is influenced in some small positive way that they will remember me years later and some of the lessons they learned. And not about how to play a scale in tune. Lessons about hard work. About respect. About dedication. I want them to leave my studio knowing that anything can be accomplished when you put in enough effort. That if success doesn’t happen on the first try, try it again. And when you finally get it right, do it again. Make sure the right things are the habits you create, and practice them to perfection.
I want them to remember the many times they failed and persevered. I want them to remember that frustration and mistakes are ok, as long as you learn from them.
And I want them to remember me when they put their child in music lessons, and hold their teacher to the high standards I hold myself to.
I always tell my students that my real job is to make myself obsolete one day. To bring them each to the point where they can surpass me. Then I know I’ve succeeded. When I can send them off to someone new, knowing that I have taken them as far as they can possibly go with me.
I’m going to have several of these moments over the next few years, as I have many kids that are near the end of their time with me. And as sad as it makes me, I am so proud to have spent their childhood with them.
Way to go, kid.