The Satisfaction In Teaching Flute

This Thursday I got the amazing opportunity to teach flute at our local middle school.

It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but because of scheduling problems the date was changed. I was crushed when I was informed that day.

But it was so….fun! Honestly, there’s no other way to put it.

I arrived there, and was faced with 12 flutes. I swear I could feel the doom pounding or something…but then half the group ended up being ‘beginning band-ers’ and I was left with 6 flutes. Manageable. I could deal with 6 flutes.

The band director invited us to play their warmups with them. I sat down, excited. She raised her hands…

And they played.

And it sounded like dead babies screaming.

Or dying duck.

Or something.

It was so completely out of tune, I was in physical pain. I had to stop myself from bursting into sobs/laughter (similar to the Credo performance at Interlochen, actually…). I held it in. Barely. Maybe a snort or two escaped, but that’s it.

So when we split into sectionals, I went straight to tuning. We all played the standard A. It was torture.

I tuned them individually. “Listen to the waves!” I pleaded. “Adjust…” I commanded.

Nothing worked.

Until…I split them into partners. “We are going to have a tune-off,” I told them. “The winners get a prize.”

Suddenly, there they were, almost perfectly in tune…funny how that works.

And when it was over, the winners were perfectly happy with the prize…an enthusiastic high five from muah.

But overall, they were just adorable and eager. I feel I did a really great job with them…I gave them a recap of everything they learned, they participated, they improved. All’s good. 

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