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Caitlin Learns Piano with Jack

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Good morning/afternoon to all!

Today I will be taking you on my journey with Jack and piano, while providing readers with an idea of how Jack is as a teacher. Jack is a fun outgoing person who shares a clear strong passion for music, it is evident in how he speaks about it, creating really engaging sessions rich with musical knowledge and the history of music. Jack ran me through what his first months of lessons look like; in the first week of lessons, Jack really wants to get a feel for his student and what they are looking for with these lessons, he says this lesson is really a “me and you” focus, to get to know the student and adjust his lessons to the students’ goals. He starts by introducing his credentials as a music teacher, so the student is aware of where the teacher’s knowledge comes from, and his experience. He also likes to ask where you find music in day to day lives, such as in films, video games, the radio etc. In the second week Jack likes to focus on what kind of things you do for fun outside of music and how you are paying attention to the music around you, in an outside setting. Do you notice how it progresses? the message it is sending? How does it make you feel? In the third week Jack likes to take a centered focus on what the student wants to learn, and the process of that, setting goals and timelines for progress. The fourth week is when the actual music playing REALLY starts, but the first 3 weeks are essential to that step, they are as equally engaging and educational to your progress in these lessons.

Jack in introducing himself, also provided me with this fact about Mozart, he said he likes to think of his education as a direct progression from Mozart himself, through the generations of passing down the Mozart education stream. Although clearly, there is a long generational separation there, it is extremely interesting and enticing to think of your musical instructor’s education as a direct result of a musical pioneer. I think this point of view can also make student more engaged in a teacher’s credentials and just their knowledge of music in general, as especially in Jack’s case, his knowledge of music alone, as well with the history of music is astonishing! He is quite literally a musical encyclopedia lol.

When Jack teaches, he likes to focus on the “Why?”, why you are playing this note, why this note makes the sound it does, why it is essential to the musical composition of this specific song etc. I honestly found this really helpful as I knew growing up, even now, I like to know and ask the reasons behind something, it gives you a better understanding of the task at hand while being able to internalize what is expected as a result for the task at hand. I find, even subconsciously, knowing the reason why you are doing something makes learning something new easier and gives it real meaning.

In such a short session I feel like Jack was able to give me a very rich and multi-dimensional lesson focussing on areas within the music and outside the music in everyday life. Our discussions really drew my attention to the fact that music is prominent in everyday life, and it is often behind the scenes going unnoticed, by Jack drawing my attention to this I have found myself in the days since noticing the background music, whether that is in a video game, a video or the TV show I am watching. It has helped me notice how music brings the storyline of something together, having an awareness for the things around me. Jack was a great presence to be in, he made our lesson very enjoyable, and I learnt a lot. I am looking forward to spending more time getting to know Jack over the next coming months!

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