One student had a running joke that I was shipping him some of the bombs I grow (because last name; I have nothing to do with real life bombs)...
Student: The last order came in on Thanksgiving! Thanks for your help!
*gives me a high-five*
I am a little concerned about why he needed so many shipments of imaginary bombs from me and what it's helping him do...
Student: Do people have trombones play at funerals? When I die, I want my children to spread my ashes on the beautiful Bora Bora, and then I want to haunt the animals. Then I can scare people!
Me: *mock-exasperated sigh* Kids these days...
Student: *mock-exasperated sigh* Piano teachers these days...
A student’s inner slide of his trombone was rotating on the solder joint.
Student: Oh, it's not supposed to do that? I just thought that was normal.
From when I was sick for 4+ weeks mid-September-mid-October.
Me: *hacking up a lung into my arm*
Students: He looks almost like he's dabbing! Mr. Baumgartner, can you dab for us???
Sometimes teaching music feels like this:
Me: Do you practice?
Every student ever: No.
I started saying, "So, in a hypothetical situation where you want to get better and you practice on your own at home, [insert practice technique here]." The sturggle is real...
Student: Do you have a girlfriend?
Student: Do you want a girlfriend?
Student: Well, all you need to do is ask someone out who likes you for who you are.
Thanks, kid. You're the best.
Sometimes geography is hard...
Student: So Africa has more than one language, right?
Student: Is Africa part of the United States?
Sometimes teaching becomes ridiculous.
One of my piano students has a habit of pretending to cast silent spells on the piano. Today names were given to spells:
"Expeliodorous" – Used to ward off unwanted odors from the release of gasses from the human body
"Practioso" – Used to aid oneself in practicing better/more
"Expectohandioso handius handy dandy wandy" – *Used to allow your hands to play something you haven't played before
The final spell lead to him creating the "Handiosaurus: a cross between spinosaurus, stegosaurus, and gigantopithecus."
*Alas, we discovered on this one that neither of us are good spell-casters, and that he is not a good sight-reader.
Student 1 (to me): Boy, what are we doing today?
Student 2: Don't call him a boy, he's a MAN! Except he doesn't have a bae...so is he?
Thanks, American media, for teaching our children what it means to be a man.
And it pains me to type "bae". I will do my best to never subject you all to that again.
One of my students was swearing today, so...
Me: It doesn't really bother me, but the school doesn't allow swearing, so don't do it.
Student: Aw, ok. Is it ok if I say [I hear Holy Bob]?
Me: Holy Bob?
Student: Yeah. Like the first part of your last name, Holy Baum.
So...my name became a swear word replacement...what have you done to better the world?
Student 1: What does vegan mean?
Me: It means you don't eat or use animal products.
Student 1: Are you vegan?
Me: No. I had eggs for breakfast.
Student 2: Eggs don't come from animals.
Me: ...yes...they do...
Student 2: Well...not if you get them from McDonald's.
Student: Mr. Baumgartner, if you had to play any instrument other than trombone, french horn, trumpet, baritone, or tuba, what would you play?
Me: Hmm...probably upright bass.
Student: I would play violin or serpent.
Some of my 6th-grade students know what a serpent is and think it is the coolest thing ever.
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.