January has been an interesting month. While Dan is busy with the “Formation Summer Course” that the parish offers, along with all the accounting work that was assigned to him, I have been busy doing what I like the most: Teaching in small groups.
This time around, I am doing a workshop on guitar and vocal technique. I have two advanced students and eight beginners. It is challenging, to say the least but I have an assistant who helps me with the students who are falling behind or those who can learn very fast.
The format of the workshop is simple: We start with the prayer that dedicates our work to God, follow with some vocal exercises, the subject of the day and finally we regroup for a closing prayer that the students take turns saying. It’s a total of two hours each time.
The range of ages is from 10 to 16 and I can’t definitely see the difference in how they learn according to their age. It is difficult to keep everybody afloat, especially because some students learn really fast and get bored if they are not challenged enough. Here is where my assistant and I have to pay attention to spot-learning speeds.
We still have sessions tomorrow and next week. January is flying by really fast and the workshop is only 8 sessions. So I don’t expect them to become experts by any means of imagination, but if I have awakened their interest in something that they can continue to pursue in their lives, I have done my job.
I found out that the patron saint of all musicians in St. Cecilia. Today, I ask her to intercede for every one of the people involved in our January workshop, as well as their families who made an effort to buy or find a guitar for their kids.
Someone once said that “Music is the language of the soul.” I say, “The musical soul of my students is the perfect medium for them to communicate to God and feel good about their accomplishments.”
Those are the ultimate goals.