I teach all-ages private music instruction, and there is at least one session a day that reminds me of a moment in Bill Cosby’s “Himself” stand-up performance when he recounts asking his son (after his son has claimed to not know why he has done something ridiculous) “Well, son, was your head with you at the time?!” Ladies and gentlemen, the future of America:
Me: Can you play it softly this time?
Student: Okay. Can you turn the volume down?
Student: Okay. Guess I’ll have to do that manually, then.
Student: That one? That’s just a D.
Me: Yes, yes I know it’s a D, and YOU know it’s a D, but your hand doesn’t seem to know it’s a D.
Student: My hand? My hand needs to get it together!
After utilizing an entire lesson to establish the fact that in 4/4 time an eighth note is played for half a beat, my student exclaims in exasperation, “Half a beat?! That’s not even a number!”
Me: Where are you in the music?
Student: I wasn’t looking at the music.
Student: You said to just play…
Me: I said to not watch your hands!
Me: That was great! This time try it with your left hand as well.
Student (in horror): I wasn’t playing with my left hand?!
Me: How did your audition go?
Student: It went great! I got accepted, and I’m going to Hollywood.
Student: I mean, I didn’t get accepted, and I’m going to El Paso.
Student: One question – where do my hands go for this song?
Me:…where the notes indicate.
Student: Oh, ok, that’s simple.
Student: I don’t know how to count this. Like, does it go, “One, two, three, four”?
Me: How many beats are there?
Me: So, then…should we count up to four?
5 yr-old student: Did you know my cousins can play, too? They play the cello and the vi-o-LET.