(original post is from 2013 - imported to new blog because the idea still holds)
Have you ever heard of Nyan Cat? Apparently it's a thing among the junior high crowd. Meaning a lot of my students think it's cool, crazy, or otherwise have some opinion about it. So, they want to learn it.
I love it when a student comes to me and says "I want to learn ________". Great!!! That means they are showing initiative, motivation, drive, and musical curiosity- even if the piece is way too hard for them, and there are six sharps in the key signature.
Nyan Cat (otherwise known as Nyanyanyanyanyanyanayana) :) was brought to my attention by one of my students. She asked me if I'd heard of it. I said no (being understandably a little out of touch with what's cool for tweens), but that I would look it up. So that week I looked it up, didn't understand the point at all, but heard a catchy (fast!) tune. My student meanwhile, searched out the sheet music, and found it at one of my favorite sites: flutetunes
I knew she was up for a challenge, but this piece was well beyond her current playing abilities. Using another of my favorite musical tools (one that was shown to me by one of my adult students a year or so ago)musescore I was able to quickly import the MIDI data and transpose it so that it was in a more familiar key- still plenty difficult! So far she has done great- learning it slowly but surely, and with enthusiasm.
This is an example of how student and teacher can work together- student gives input on music, and teacher helps find music, or in this case uses a simple tool to make the music accessible. Everyone wins! And now that I know what Nyan Cat is, I'm one step closer to cool. :)
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.