Must have got a bad flu – lost my voice since early Sunday morning (or late Saturday night?) and still haven’t recovered. Well, recovered a bit, not my voice, but sore throat is mostly gone and don’t feel dizzy anymore. I should be glad that I didn’t lose my voice during my long teaching day on Saturday. Thank God!

But I do have to teach today. How?

A marker and a whiteboard.

One good thing for teaching violin is I get to use a big room in the studio, which also means I can use the whiteboard. So the first thing I did today after arriving at the studio was grab two markers and wrote on the whiteboard:

“I’ve lost my voice. I’ll write instead."

The first student was brought in by her mom. Her mom saw it immediately and told her daughter to behave herself. The mom also told me that the 10-year-old girl was really too busy with school work this week and so she didn’t practise as much. Throughout the 45 minutes, I basically done all my “talking" with the marker and the whiteboard. The girl didn’t give me any trouble. I usually had to yell a couple times in her lesson.

The second student … got a fever and so was absent. Really appreciate the 30-minute break. The third one never gave me any trouble – he’s a 15-year-old (14? 15? 16?) boy not going for any exam but playing the piano as… just playing. The easiest 30 minutes of the day.

Then came a 10-11-year-old girl who never practice much. She, too, was coughing and was even coughing worse than me. She could be quite  a headache to any teacher who takes teaching seriously. And I am this kind of teacher. She’s not without talent but she’s pretty lazy. I need to kick her at least trice to make her play one scale normally. Today? I just wrote “A major, slurred bow" on the whiteboard. And there was A major, slurred bow. Not without mistake but she played it almost immediately and corrected her mistakes very quickly!

The Primary 1 young boy is a very nice boy. Never gave me headache except his little fingers being a bit too soft and wriggly or completely flat like sausages on the piano. His lesson ran fast like usual. I always have fun in teaching him.

The last one is always a headache. In fact, he wasn’t my student but my colleague’s. He got transferred to me partly because his mom and my colleague couldn’t get along (they’re like Martian VS Human, simply can’t communicate), and partly because my colleague thought this boy was really too much a headache for him. So, when the mom asked if her son could get another teacher, my colleague enthusiastically passed him over. The boy isn’t too naughty. He’s just like a normal 7 to 8-year-old boy: he likes exploring the room; he likes poking around with his bow; he likes talking about the silly things happened in school… so on and so forth. If his mom doesn’t mind her son spending half the lesson on doing non-violin stuff, that’s fine. But his mom does mind it… a lot. So, it’s the teacher’s job to discipline this young boy. But then, this young boy gets really negative if you get tough on him. He’d simply retreat to the corner of the room and refuse to come out. My colleague would get really aggravated but for me, it’s time for my “a spoon of sugar, a spoon of poo" practice (alright, this is purely Cantonese 一啖砂糖一啖屎). This didn’t happen today. Since I couldn’t talk, I used the whiteboard and body language in his lesson. He couldn’t play the G# on D string right? I drew diagrams on the white board explaining the difference between G and G#, and the relationship between G# and A. He played something wrong? I raise up my hand to stop him. If I did this on any normal day, he’d just ignore me. He wanted to talk back? I coughed… very hard. (Hmm… I wasn’t pretending but the timing was just right LOL.) After playing for 40 minutes and there were only 5 minutes left, he said,

“I am very tired!"

This actually happens quite often. Usually, he wouldn’t pick up the violin again before I win the fight of staring. (Right, he stares at me, I stare at him. Whoever relents first is the loser. He’s ALWAYS the loser, of course.) Today? With my really really broken voice, I said,

‘I’m sick; I’ve been teaching for hours; and I haven’t said “I’m tired" yet. So, you are tired?’

His response? He immediately picked up his violin and played that Gavotte by Lully one more time. LOL

This only works on the days when I’m sick.

And this only works if the teacher has a good relationship with the students.

Maybe I should intentionally lose my voice every now and then LOL

廣告