MORE Than Just a Fantastic Teacher
There is a reality to teaching any subject that I have found to be completely obvious but also, utterly strange – that BEING great at one’s craft does not necessarily make one great at TEACHING one’s craft. In the two years that I spent as David’s student, I never once felt any distance between David’s unmistakable chops as a musician, and his ability to communicate effectively as a teacher.
To help me absorb his lessons, he could deploy a technical explanation just as quickly as a quirky analogy – anything to make the concept real to me. Once, when I found the concept of tempo and note-values especially challenging, he grabbed an old can of rocks and coins to use as a visual aid. I thought (a) this guy was crazy and (b) why on earth does he have this can of rocks and coins lying around!? However, it was not long before I grasped the idea – to which I credit his patience and resourcefulness.
All that said, what I appreciate most about the time I spent with David was the relationship itself. On one occasion, dealing with a family issue, I found that I had brought my own stress and sadness along to his studio. Sensing that I was distressed – we took a moment, together, to talk and refocus; to breathe and reacquire the moment, which I did. I then spent the remainder of the lesson tearfully playing and learning and smiling. I’ll never forget that. Keep rocking David!