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Fellow music teachers: Are we eccentric?


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#1 ma non troppo

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:30

I remember thinking as a child that pretty much all my music teachers were a little odd. That didn't mean I didn't like them, but.....

What concerns me is that the piano teachers were the strangest, and possibly quite scary too.

It occurs to me now I am older that I may have wandered into that territory.

Do you consider yourself eccentric? If so, is it something you have carefully cultivated or have you just come to a self awareness?

Were your teachers strange in any way?

Is there anything wrong with eccentricity!?

This is supposed to be light hearted by the way. ;)
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#2 zwhe

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:36

Not yet, but I have ambitions to be when I get old! (and wear purple?)


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#3 ma non troppo

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 23:19

I like the idea of having a stick and running it down railings. But the sausages would have to be vegetarian.
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#4 mel2

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 23:51

Hope not!
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#5 Bagpuss

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 07:21

Well I'm as mad as a skip full of toads and have been wearing purple for most of my adult life. Mmm and forget not the ridiculous Irregular Choice shoes (let Google be the friend of the uninitiated ;)...)

Now, where did I put my eye patch?....Ah, it's lurking under my pile of sparkly kaftans next to my Child Catcher net...

Bag x
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#6 Banjogirl

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 08:57

All the best people are eccentric. Music teachers are the best people. So, yes!
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#7 Banjogirl

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 09:01

I was unaccountably made wardrobe mistress for my chorus. If you'd every seen what I wear you would understand the, ahem, eccentricity of this choice. I get my way by subtle manipulation. We have purple fleeces and bright green polo shirts and they look amazing and no other chorus can be mistaken for us. Fortunately I have minions to arrange our stage clothes, though I'm still planning a onesie/burlesque combo for some point in the future. That'll learn them for not singing in tune.
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#8 BadStrad

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 09:12

I think there are some people (and I'm not saying the OP is one of them) who like to label themselves as "eccentric" or "creative" or whatever because it makes them feel special in an otherwise mundane life. (Like the woman obsessed with Mahler in "Educating Rita.") In my experience the true eccentrics are those who just "do their thing" blissfully unaware or uncaring of what label might be thrust upon them by others.

I have a very dear friend who is faux-excentric - always wears mis-matched socks and earings but in all other aspects is immaculately turned out and very "square" in her teaching and general life. The kids love her "eccentricity" which seems to sprinkle fairy dust on her very traditional teaching style.

My favourite teacher at school was truly eccentric. An absolute gem of a teacher who the head hated but the kids adored and who got the best results out of even the most unlikely students.

Is there anything wrong with eccentricity? - It's very wearing when someone is trying to hard to be "wacky" but otherwise - as long as there is no pathology in the eccentricity then where's the harm in adding a "bit of flair" to life?
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#9 BadStrad

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 09:15

@Banjogirl - love the idea of the onsie/burlesque combo.
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#10 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 13:47

I suppose I'm a bit of an eccentric, though I never set out to be that way. 

 

My piano teacher as a child was eccentric only in that she took in stray cats, so there were always about a dozen or so cats around her studio.

 

My current Professor doesn't seem to have any eccentricities at all so far as I can tell, other than being the most capable and knowledgeable pianist and teacher that I've ever met.  (I don't mean to imply that my teacher as a child wasn't good - far from it.  But it's not fair to compare a private piano teacher from an isolated rural area with a retired conservatory department chair.)

 

I'd rather have my Professor's eccentricity, but why are there so many cats hanging around my house...


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#11 Boogaloo

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 14:31

Do you consider yourself eccentric? If so, is it something you have carefully cultivated or have you just come to a self awareness?

I think for me it's born out of necessity! The energy that is required for a lesson, the constant enthusiasm no matter what is presented to me in a lesson, the desire to lift someone's mood if they have come in fed up or worse, the trying to build motivation in otherwise demotivated teenagers - it feels like every lesson I'm doing an on stage performance! No matter what is happening in my personal life I try my hardest to forget it when teaching and create an often completely bonkers alter ego. I like being bonkers! And I love the Irregular Choice website now that I've discovered what it is! (Thanks Bagpuss!) I also love wearing odd socks etc given half the chance and that's something my children have taught me - they are deffo individual!

 

I don't recall any of my teachers being very eccentric. Although my very first classical guitar teacher maybe was but I was only there for one lesson as the house was so dirty, cobwebby and downright scary that I didn't want to return!

 

I think that the members of the music department that I have the pleasure of working in would all agree that we are, without exception, completely bonkers and that's why we love it! Birds of a feather and all that!


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#12 Piano Meg

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 14:56

Now, where did I put my eye patch?....Ah, it's lurking under my pile of sparkly kaftans next to my Child Catcher net...

 

I was happily thinking 'no, I'm not eccentric', until you reminded me that I do occasionally wear an eye patch, or tiara, or fake glasses/moustache combo for my pupils' mock tests!  :rofl: 

(before you ask, the idea is they think of it in the exam and laugh/relax, plus if they can perform to someone who's rather distracting, they should manage with the examiner!)

 

I think for me it's born out of necessity! The energy that is required for a lesson, the constant enthusiasm no matter what is presented to me in a lesson, the desire to lift someone's mood if they have come in fed up or worse, the trying to build motivation in otherwise demotivated teenagers - it feels like every lesson I'm doing an on stage performance! 

 

Very good point! 


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#13 jenny

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 14:58

 

Do you consider yourself eccentric? If so, is it something you have carefully cultivated or have you just come to a self awareness?

I think for me it's born out of necessity! The energy that is required for a lesson, the constant enthusiasm no matter what is presented to me in a lesson, the desire to lift someone's mood if they have come in fed up or worse, the trying to build motivation in otherwise demotivated teenagers - it feels like every lesson I'm doing an on stage performance! No matter what is happening in my personal life I try my hardest to forget it when teaching and create an often completely bonkers alter ego. 

 

 

Although this is a light hearted post, I do feel this is a very good point. I don't consider myself an eccentric person, but am definitely aware that a certain amount of 'acting' is part of my job because however I'm feeling on a particular day, the bright, smiley face is switched on and pupils welcomed with friendliness and enthusiasm. Of course, the plus side to this is that I always feel better at the end of a teaching day.  


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#14 Latin pianist

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 15:05

Some of my students are eccentric!
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#15 Misterioso

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 15:26

I also love wearing odd socks etc given half the chance and that's something my children have taught me - they are deffo individual!

 

Actually, most of my younger students wear odd socks all the time. I thought it was just "normal", especially since my own kids did it too (still do, in fact, now they are no longer kids!)


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