This post is going to be more personal than most, but I decided to share anyway because farewells are part of teaching. This week I bid a bittersweet farewell to a top student. No, she is not quitting, but rather going on to study with a master teacher who teaches in the music department of one of the local universities.
She studied with me for two years, during which time she made truly amazing progress. She worked very hard and consistently, asked great questions, and really took my advice to heart when I let her know what she needed to work on. As a result she was able to participate in one of the top ensembles in the state as a middle schooler, and audition into BYSO where she has excelled musically as well as thoroughly enjoying the experience. I really feel as if she has grown wings.
For my students, I encourage studying with other teachers, whether for short periods of time supplementing our lessons or transferring when the time seems right. I have good relationships with many of the other teachers in the area and reach out when a student is transferring to let them know what we have been working on. I have studied with many different instructors on both piano and flute throughout my life and each has taught me unique tools and different ways of looking at music, practice, and performance.
Our job as teachers is to help students to be independent. Essentially, we know we have done a good job when, well...we work ourselves out of a job! It is rewarding to see students move on with a love of music and skills to keep them going for a lifetime of music. I run into many of them at local events and online (as they follow my studio page on Facebook or create their own LinkedIn accounts), and I look forward to seeing the amazing adults they become!
To quote author and TV personality William Sears, "If there were no goodbyes, there could be no hellos."
Hi! My name is Mariya, and I teach flute and piano lessons in Redmond, WA and am a performing musician. Here I share thoughts about learning music and helping others learn how to play an instrument.