A Master Class Series by Robin Steinweg
Music for Life
My second Music for Life Master Class—a success.
I started this series with plans to invite senior musicians. I’ll expand it to include musicians of all ages. Music for Life could end up defining my studio.
A master class series like this can enhance and promote your studio as well as inspire and bless your students. (Be sure to schedule it on your MTH calendar, and have reminders sent automatically!)
As students arrived, I directed them to the dining room for cheese, crackers, lemonade and sweet tea. Things go better with an after-school snack, don’t you think?
Char Monette came as our featured local musician and piano teacher. I invited students and parents/grandparents to attend. We had good attendance in spite of busy May schedules.
Char shared musical moments and wisdom for about twenty minutes.
At age 8 her family moved to Japan when her dad was called up to fight in the Korean War. They couldn’t have a piano because he was only a lieutenant. But her classmate’s dad had a higher rank, and owned a piano. She walked home from school with Edward every day and practiced half an hour. Her teacher spoke no English, and she no Japanese. Music was their common language. She practiced very hard to earn a pat on the shoulder, and avoid mistakes which elicited a “No-no-no-no!” or worse, a rap on the knuckles with a pencil.
She began to teach in 1977 when another musician in town told her she must. This is good for us to remember! We can encourage musical gifts in others.
“Music is a gift from God. To think that your fingers can move on the keys, and music comes out… that is a gift from God.”
“I don’t often sit and listen to music. I would rather make music.”
I asked, “Char, what has music meant to you throughout your life?”
She responded, “You know, I don’t really think about it. I breathe, but I don’t think about that either. Breathing is pretty important. Music is just like that.”
She played “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” from her John Thompson Third Grade Level book.
My students played for her. Some played their own compositions or their own arrangements of pieces. Some played my arrangements. They all gave a gift of music back to Char to thank her for coming to show them Music for Life!
You might like to read about my first guest in this series: professional drummer, vocalist and pianist Martha Nelson: Music Is for Life …and here are a few of my students…