I can’t believe this internship has flown by so quickly! This semester seemed to begin yesterday!
Yet, as I compile my portfolio (which can be found online: http://katherynmie.wordpress.com/), I also can’t believe how much I’ve discovered and learned – better becoming an artist, scholar, and teacher. My string pedagogy class supplied me with just enough information to make me want to dive in more through observation of fellow teachers and reading Galamian, Simon Fisher, and other pedagogy books. I have learned through reading Leopold Mozart’s A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing, the importance of teaching students the history of music, particularly concerning our rich violin history.
My teaching has been high energy (keeping a four-year-old motivated and engaged) this semester, but slower paced than I thought, as my student doesn’t have much time to practice with the family’s demanding schedule. Certain technical aspects have been hard for him, but just over the past three weeks, we have progressed leaps and bounds. His bow is now straighter, bow hold more consistently excellent, and his fingers more exact in placement. This came with a bit of struggle!
Two weeks ago during our lesson, we were able to end on a joyful note, but he broke down in tears during our first “Pennies Game”. Four pennies on my side of the stand, and four pennies on his side, each time he didn’t reach his goal, I got one of his pennies, but each time he nailed his goal, he got one of mine! The purpose of the game is to have the student focus while doing repetitions, with his/her goal obviously being to get all the pennies in his pile.
His goal was to keep his two and three fingers on the bow for an entire down bow, which I knew had been an emotional experience during practice with his mom. Trying to work through why he had broken down, I asked him if he was missing his mom, as an emergency had come up and she had suddenly needed to leave. He said it wasn’t that, so I asked him if he didn’t like the game. He still shook his head no. He finally was able, between his sobs, to express that, “I never, ever want to lose”! It was so incredibly sweet and honest, seemingly not only about the game, but also really concerning a fear that he couldn’t play the violin. After having a long talk, he was able to fair and square win the game, realizing that keeping his fingers on the bow was actually not impossible and could be fun! At the end of the lesson, he grew tired of me helping him guide the bow, placing the fingers…I backed off…he did it perfectly!!! Success!
With the close of this story, here ends my first wonderful MIE and NEC internship!