Reflections on 16 years of Teaching Coming to a Close

By: Dave Orrett, School Director If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to be a little nostalgic on this blog post. The largest chunk of my life doing anything has been teaching piano and just this past week I decided to end this chapter in my life, my last lessons coming on June 25th, 2013. Learning piano was a mixed experience for me. I actually started taking private lessons on the recorder in Streetsville, Mississauga and was luckily oblivious to how incredibly “uncool” this was for a young boy. Wisely I kept it a close guarded secret that I rocked the recorder…yeah baby yeah! My parents tell me that at that time I used to bang on the piano and sing silly lyrics along with it. Perhaps as a means of sparing themselves further sonic torture they signed me up for piano lessons. My first teacher was the stereotypical older lady who taught from her home filled with cats. She used to whack my hand with a ruler if my finger position wasn’t perfect. Not that I have emotional scars from this experience…no really J Not surprisingly I wanted to quit. After a few years of this I wanted to quit so much my parents finally indulged me. Generally when a child quits music lessons this is the end, few return. Somehow though I had this deep longing to return and I remember begging my parents to let me return just a year or so later. The deal was I had to pay for a portion of the lessons out of my allowance since I had previously quit. Ouch. It was worth it though and I did it. What followed changed my life forever. My first teacher upon my return was amazing. Her name was Lisa and she showed me what a “chord” was and why I was playing the notes not just what the notes were. Suddenly I had some knowledge to go with all the constant musical ideas and….well….I haven’t looked back ever since. Fast forward to 1996 and I began teaching one student who my grandfather referred to me. I leaned heavily on my experience as a camp counsellor and the inspiration Lisa had awoken in me and it went faily well. Still, when the programmer at Bloordale Community School asked me in September of 1997 if I would teach a full night of students starting the...
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