Me: So you're all *grade*, right?
*all but one student affirms that is correct*
Lone student: I'm 900 years old.
Me [in Yoda voice]: Mmm, when 900-years old you reach, look as good you will not, hmm?
Other students: Whoa! That's really good! Are you the guy who actually voiced Yoda??
Yeah, I just look REALLY good for being 60+ years old...
Student: Why do we need to know the note names and where they're written? I just want you to tell me the positions. That'd be easier.
*I explain partials, and why sight-reading is important, including talking about getting paid to sight-read gigs sometimes*
Another student: Wait...so are you getting paid to talk to us???
Something orange was stuck on my students music book.
Me: What is that?
Student: I don't know.
*student sniffs it*
Later he decided it was a piece of orange candy. Basically the same thing.
*beginning of lesson*
Me: You should practice minimum 30 minutes a day, at least 6 days a week.
Student: I don't have time. But my parents told me to practice 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
*end of lesson*
Student: And then I get home and eat, and then I do homework, and then I play video games or watch a movie.
Me: So. Remember when you said you didn't have time to practice...?
Student: ...oh...I should've kept my mouth shut...
Student [looking at my ID badge]: Guys! I just figured out who Mr. Baumgartner REALLY is! He's John Cena!
Yep. Nailed it.
I was teaching a trombone lesson, when my next student walked in, came over to where I was talking to my current student, and stood there with his hand raised while I finished my thought (probably 10-15 seconds). It seemed important, so I acknowledged his raised hand, and...
Student [excitedly]: So, you know how the door handle turns down to open it? You can also turn it up too to open it!
I don't know what I expected from a middle school trombonist...
A student was going to leave his trombone at the school, because the car was too small (a VW Beetle). I suggested he hold in front of him. A couple days later...
Band director: How did it go bringing the trombone home?
Student: It was scary!
Band director (later, to me): You'd think he was bringing it to Mordor or something...
Had a fire drill right at the beginning of class, so the kids were abnormally unruly, to the point we couldn't get anything done. One of the students decided she could teach better than I could, so I figured I'd let her see how difficult it is and gave her a shot. It made me feel better about my teaching ability...
Student (after 2 minutes trying to get everyone to pay attention and not succeeding): Now I get it. I can't do this. If I were you, I would have quit by now.
*turns to the rest of the students*
Student [yelling]: YOU ALL SUCK!
I told her not to talk to them like that. But yeah...sometimes...
Much respect for those of you doing full-time classroom teaching. You're the best kind of people.
While I was talking to a student about trombone and the music we were doing, another student stood up very excitedly in the middle of the group lesson.
Student: Mr. Baumgartner, thank you for reminding me!
*I look at her questioningly*
Student: My neighbor is having a garage sale today! I'll hopefully be getting a bike!
I have no idea what I said that reminded her of that...
I bet a student $5,000 he couldn't play something perfectly with his eyes closed (he started the bet, and he was sight-reading, so...).
Me: If you had actually done it, I would have made sure you got the $5,000 somehow. But probably not actually...
Student: Would we have robbed a bank together???
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.