Saturday, December 14, 2013

Piano Student Proverbs

You know that really, really, REALLY great feeling you get after you finish teaching your last student for the year before it's time to fly home to Utah and family and mountains and snow and CHRISTMAS? I don't know how it is for you, but for me, the Hallelujah chorus suddenly begins to play in my head, and I start spontaneously leaping about my living room, deliriously overcome with blissful ecstasy.

Having taught over one thousand piano lessons this year, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of a few of my favorite piano student quotes (oh, that I had written more of them down!). Because, you know, why not? 

So here they are, organized in a somewhat chronological fashion. 

Me: How was your summer?
Little piano student: Good!
Me: Did you travel anywhere?
Little piano student: Yeah. I went to Singapore.
Me: You went to Singapore?!!
Little piano student: Oh, wait...I think it was called Seattle. 

10-year-old piano student: But playing hands together is so harrrrd!!! It's's like...trying to eat pizza and play a video game at the same time!

9-year-old student: I couldn't practice this week.
Me: Why?
Student: I hurt my pinky.
Me: Uh-oh! Can I see your finger? 
Student: Well, I hurt my pinky...toe.
Me: Your pinky *toe?* How does that prevent you from practicing piano?
Student [in a rather indignant tone, as if the answer is quite obvious]: I can't walk to the piano.

Me: "Be sure to play those notes evenly."
11-year-old piano student: "I don't think I can. The impatience of my left forefinger is far too great."

Me: Your new piece this week is called "Clog Dance." Do you know what clogging is?
6-year-old piano student: Yeah--like clogging the toilet? My brother does that all the time.

5-year-old piano student: "For my job when I grow up, I'm going to be Santa Claus. And on the weekends, I'm going to be a piano teacher."

Me: "That rhythm is incorrect. Why aren't you counting out loud like I asked you to?"
9-year-old piano student: "I need time to get my salivary glands working!" [proceeds to rub cheeks vigorously]

8-year-old student: "Why is this cord hooking the piano bench to the piano?"
Me: "So people don't move the bench out of the room or steal it, I guess."
Student [in a very self-assured tone of voice]: "Um, all someone has to do is bring a pair of scissors and a suitcase. Then they could just cut the cord and put the piano bench in their suitcase. Nobody would even know."

During the middle of her lesson, my 8-year-old student suddenly let out a burp and then said with a satisfied sigh, "Mmmm, sushi tastes soooo good."

My 9-year-old student had just arrived for her lesson and was taking off her jacket.
“Me: “That’s a nice jacket! Is it new?”
Student: “Yes!!! I love it because it’s sooooo soft—it’s like I’m wearing a puppy dog!”

Much to his distaste, I required my 11-year-old student today to complete his entire Hanon exercise without letting his wrists sag. As he was playing, he gave a dramatic groan and said, “This is like trying to ride a unicycle on top of a car that’s going 30 miles per hour!”

My 6-year-old student had just finished his lesson. He walked to a nearby table to play with some toys while his mother got out her calendar to mark the dates I will be out of town for Christmas. 
Me: “I’ll be flying home on the 15th.”
6-year-old, looking up from his action figures and staring at me incredulously: “Nuh-uh! You don’t have wings!”

10-year-old student: “Do you know why Michigan and Ohio hate each other so much?”
Me: “Why?”
Student: “Because they’re the only states who have ever fought a war against each other.”**
Me: “What about the Civil War?”
Student: “That doesn’t count.”

**Sidenote: Come to find out, there actually was a war between Michigan and Ohio, known as the Toledo War, which occurred in 1835-36. (????!!!) If you care to do so, you can read more about it here. And to give my student the credit he deserves, he said the Civil War didn't count because it involved multiple states fighting against multiple states.

My 6-year-old piano student looked me in the eye today and earnestly informed me, “Raccoons are secret ninjas of the jungle.”