The Piano Teacher-Student Connection
As a piano teacher, I am always trying to relate to and connect with each of my students. Some piano students share many of my personality traits, and those are the easy ones for me to develop a good relationship with. Some piano students are very different from me, and those are definitely the hard ones.
I have also found that, for some piano students, they really need to trust me before they will do the things I ask them to do at the piano. For one of these piano students, I have been working very hard at becoming her friend and connecting with her on her level. Right now she is very interested in gymnastics. She has been working really hard to be able to do a backbend. Every week she wants to show me her progress, so she takes a moment before, or after, or even in the middle of her lesson if she needs a little break before refocusing, to bend over backwards. She’s getting pretty close to being able to do it all the way.
Since I took gymnastics lessons when I was younger, and since I am still fairly flexible and can still do some of the things I could do back when I was nine, I thought that gymnastics might be a way I could connect with this student. So I explained to her that I used to do gymnastics back when I was her age and that I can still do a backbend. Well, of course, she wanted to see me do it. However, I was wearing a dress that day, and I didn’t think that bending over backwards in a dress would be the most appropriate thing I could do. So I promised her I would wear pants another day and then I would show her my backbend. Well, today is that day. I remembered at the last minute to wear pants, and I’ve been practicing my backbend all morning, so when this student arrives I’ll be ready. I’m excited to have something in common with her, and I think it will be good for her to see that I’m not afraid to have fun and do something that’s not even music-related once in a while.
And yes, this really is a picture of me. Also yes, this is a back walkover, not a backbend (I know my gymnastics). Maybe I’ll have somebody take a picture of me when I do the real thing later today for this student.