Dorothy Schnupsky, famous local music teacher and wearer of clothes that billow, recently had an extraordinary musical breakthrough. This came as quite a shock to her, as she had previously believed her authority on all technical and musical matters to be absolute.
“I remember the moment very clearly,” she explained to an audience that included me. “I was telling my student that in order to get their difficult passagework up to speed they would have to practise it slowly, in rhythms, and with a metronome. And I suddenly thought, gosh, what a good idea! I should try that.”
After quickly shooing the student out of her beautiful home, Dorothy began practising in exactly the way she had instructed. “It worked wonders! I was able to solve a difficult passage in no time. That section had been causing me grief for months, and it turns out there was just a few simple principles I needed to follow. Thank-you, me.”
Dorothy is looking forward to trying some of the other advice she always espouses to her students, such as keeping a practice journal, going to concerts, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. “All of these things don’t just sound good, they are a great way to become a better musician,” she marvelled. “Who knew?”
After her breakthrough, Dorothy says her life may never be the same again. “Until now I had thought that teaching was all about having unquestionable authority and drip-feeding approval to insecure young people desperate to build their identities on my shifting moods,” she said, “but apparently there’s more to it. Quite a lot more.”