Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday inspiration: Patiently Passionate/Passionately Patient

"Hi you!!" 

A few years ago,  I took the book 1 Suzuki* teacher training course, taught by Alice Joy Lewis.  She was one of the early pioneers who brought the method to the USA, and she actually took her son to Japan to study with Shinichi Suzuki when he was young (Brian Lewis is now a famous violinist and pedagogue).   She is just a joy to be around - literally, because she loves what she does and loves to share it.

She told us a story that embedded its way into my psyche and changed how I approached teaching children.  I'm going to paraphrase here, but picture a huge beaming smile on the face of the narrator.   It's from the period when she was living in Japan and studying from Suzuki in his studio.
One day, during the course of regular lessons, Mr. Suzuki turned to us [the observing teachers] and asked me with a twinkle in his eye - "Should we teach the children patiently?"  From the look on his face, I could tell it must be a trick question but I couldn't think of how - so I answered a slow "yes?"  He grinned.  "Do you eat steak patiently??"  
The answer spoke for itself - when it's something you enjoy, you don't approach it as a chore, but with passion!!  Patience, yes, we need that in BULK at our house, but the greatest gift we can give as teachers is an excitement for learning, for giving and for life.  I want them to want this for themselves - and the only way I know how to give them the best example I can.  And BOY do I want them to want music!!

What did your parents give you a lifelong passion for?  (Thanks mom for that violin thing! :)

*I snagged this from Wikipedia as a reference for whomever isn't familiar with Suzuki - I refer to it lots and lots:
The Suzuki method, also called Talent Educationmother-tongue method, or Suzuki movement)is an educational philosophy which strives to create "high ability" and beautiful character in its students through a nurturing environment. Its primary vehicle for achieving this is music education on a specific instrument (often violin or piano...). The 'nurture' involved in the movement is modeled on a concept of early childhood education that focuses on factors which Shinichi Suzuki observed in native language acquisition, such as immersion, encouragement, small steps, and an unforced timetable for learning material based on each person's developmental readiness to imitate examples, internalize principles, and contribute novel ideas.


Rosie said...

Here's a video I remember seeing a while ago. If this isn't passion for music, I'm not sure what is.

Master P said...

Wow!! I conducted that for my final in Basic Conducting in college... he is WAY better than I ever was :) It hadn't occurred to me, but the last movement of Beethoven's 5th is PERFECT for a Living Room Dance Party! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jane said...

We had a passion for reading and animals I think. We're not dramatic people.

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