343 – Barney
Student 1: Barney the Purple Dinosaur actually kidnapped kids.
Student 2: Barney is actually Freddy Krueger.
The more you know.💫
342 – E is for Elephant
*I point to Eb*
Me: What note is this?
Students: It's an E!
Me: An E-what?
That One True Trombonist [very sincerely and excitedly]: E-Elephant! Oh wait, no...
The trombone 100% chose this student.
341 – Summer Band, 2022
Summer band started last week, so I get to start my day with 20 beginning trumpet students at 8AM (yep ), then a *handful of trombones+some baritones. Today:
Beginning student: You should go to the city and open your case and play trombone, because you're good and I bet people would pay you money to play.
Me: Well, I made [decent amount of money] this weekend from performances, so I already get paid to play.
*students look at me in awe*
*A group of trombonists should officially be called a handful, like a gaggle of geese or murder of crows; a handful of trombonists.
340 – Chick-Fil-A, Part 5
In December 2016 a bunch of my beginning middle school students at the school I was at decided I owed them Chick-Fil-A and it became a running non-joke from them the rest of the year. One of my gigs this weekend I played with their high school band director...
Band Director: So three of your former students still bring up that you owe them Chipotle.
I guess it's good to know they remembered *something* we talked about, at least (even if they got wrong the restaurant or the fact that I owed them anything)?
339 – Why We Teach
Just got a text from a graduating senior:
Student: I just wanted to reiterate how thankful I am. You got me so far in my high school band career and I just really wanted to say thank you for helping me improve myself band wise and mentally. Thank you for everything!
This is why we teach. It's not about putting out professional musicians (though that's a bonus when it happens!), it's about developing people. It's easy to forget that sometimes, to get frustrated with students who aren't practicing or don't seem to be getting anywhere [to be clear, she was not in that category] but at the end of the day, music is as much (or more) about helping people to grow as humans as it is about helping them grow as musicians.
338 – High School Affirmation
*student's probable last lesson with me*
Student [awkwardly not knowing what to say]: Well...you obviously know your stuff. Thanks for teaching me.
Affirmation from high school students is the best kind of affirmation.
337 – Pro Dad
*I make a dumb pun*
Student: Wooowww, you should be a professional dad.
Need your kids to tell dumb jokes but you don't have anyone around to teach them? Now accepting work as a professional dad, $20 a joke.
336 – The Muffin Saga, Pt. 4
You thought The Muffin Saga was over? So did I.
Student: You should play on our [middle school] concert!
Me: I don't think you can afford me.
Student: How many muffins would I have to make for you?
Me: Hmm...10 might make me think about it.
Student: Well a pan holds a dozen, so there'd still be two left over.
Me: Ooo, well, let's make it an even dozen then.
Student: ...okay, what if I just make you three muffins for free and you don't have to play the concert?
This kid runs a hard bargain, but I agreed to his terms.
335 – The Muffin Saga, Pt. 3
Student: My dog didn't want to write an apology letter, so he wrapped it and put a bow on it instead.
The conclusion of The Muffin Saga was delicious.
334 – The Muffin Saga, Pt. 2
The muffin saga continues:
Student: I was going to bring you a muffin today, but my dog ate them all.
I think this is the first time I've gotten "my dog at my homework" from a student. His entire grade [that I have no actual control over] now depends on him bringing me a muffin and signed apology letter from his dog tomorrow.
I have been teaching music across the Twin Cities since 2011. Along with seeing students grow as musicians and people, one of the joys of teaching is the ridiculous things my students say.