things I’ve said to my students

I teach little kids piano and these are some of the things I tell them and they seem to think I’m funny

  • “woah there buddy”
  • “be expressive, not aggressive”
  • “play staccato like you would play hot potato”
  • “yikes”
  • student: “why does posture matter?” me: “look at my hands when I’m playing with flat fingers. doesn’t that look weird? it looks kind of disturbing. don’t have flat fingers.” student: "you’re right”
  • “no no no don’t do that you’ll break your hand”
  • me: “what chord is this?” student: “g major. but can we name it carlos?” me: “…I don’t see why not”
  • “the man on my screensaver is dmitri shostakovich and you will learn to love his music, too”
  • “yeah this guy wrote angry music”
  • “we’re going to play this excruciatingly slowly. suffering is how we make progress”
  • me: “so a harp is basically just a naked piano.” my student: “so, you could say that inside a piano are the piano’s…organs.”
  • *miscellaneous sound effects and screeches*
  • *badly singing along as they play*
  • “composers were crazy. don’t ever let anyone tell you that mozart was sophisticated because he told some very bad jokes.
  • me: “what interval is that?” student: “EL DIABLO”
  • “it’s going to sound bad, but that means you’re playing it right”
  • “please don’t play the piano with your elbows. you can try that at home”
  • “so the music says that it should be an f sharp but you played it as an f natural and I kind of liked that so we’re keeping it”
  • ”if you can play this well I’ll accompany you with my plastic saxophone”