333 – P-bone
*student walks in with a P-bone [plastic trombone]*
Me: ...why...? [<--my first words to him today]
Student: I'm so sorry. I don't want this either.
Me: I just realized I can see all the way down the bell to the tuning slide. It's a little unsettling.
Student: It's such a horrible instrument.
332 – The Muffin Saga, Pt. 1
Student: Do you have any food allergies?
Me: Nope, why?
Student: Would you want a banana chocolate chip muffin? I decided to make some for my teachers, and I thought, "Mr. Baumgartner might want one too!"
Me: Um, absolutely.
*end of lesson*
Me: Do you have those muffins with you?
Student: Oh, no, I haven't made them yet, but I'll bring you one tomorrow [Friday].
Me: Oh. I won't be here until Wednesday...
Sometimes teaching is a rollercoaster of emotions.
331 – Clefs
I have a 7th-grader doubling on trumpet and trombone. He wanted to play Pink Panther, which I only had for trumpet, so I'm teaching him to read Bb treble on trombone, for tenor clef practice.
Student: So wait...how many clefs do trombonists have to play in??
Me: Bass, tenor, and alto, and sometimes treble too.
Student (dejectedly): Why is life so hard?
330 – Old MacDonald
Subbed for Brian Handeland at his school band directing gig today.
Student 1: Can you play #185 in the book, "Symphony No Period One," for us?
*I play it*
Student 2: Can we do #22 in the book with the band?
Student 1 [referring to what I'd just played]: They play that piece at funerals when soldiers die.
Student 3: They play Old MacDonald [#22] at funerals?!
Yes, but only with the original lyrics (probably):
Old MacDonald had a farm
But now he is dead
329 – Ducks
Student: Want to know what kept one of my friends awake all night one night?
Me: Uh, sure?
Student: He couldn't sleep because he was trying to remember if ducks are actually yellow.
328 – Euphoniums
Student: Euphoniums can play louder than trombones.
Me: *looks askance at student*
Student [earnestly]: I read that!
Take your heresy elsewhere, kid.
327 – Jolly Man Shape
Student (talking about another teacher): He's a jolly man shape.
326 – Best Teacher
Me: *walking down stairs to leave for the day*
Summer Band Student: Mr. Baumgartner! It's the best teacher ever! Fist bump. *gives me fist bump*
Love these moments. But I would be a better teacher if I could remember his name...
325 – Satan
Hung out with a former trombone student and his family Sunday.
Former student: Now that I'm a vocalist, I don't need Satan anymore.
Student's brother: Now I have Satan!
Satan is just their metronome, don't worry.
324 – Choir Kids
6th-grade student: Choir kids are too dramatic.
One semester in and she already knows.
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.