Compositional Rewards

For the past week, I’ve been teaching seven high schoolers private composition lessons everyday. This is a dream come true; after an excellent compositional experience over the summer of my junior year in high school, I’ve always wanted to give back somehow and ensure these experiences continue for others.

Teaching is difficult. Just as difficult as I’d imagined. I’m so far from being great, and am absolutely in no way immune to being terrified of a lesson from time to time. However my goal is simple: make them excited about spending more time on what they’re creating. If I can get them to slow down, take everything they do seriously (accepting the best solution, rather than the first solution), and really enjoy this process, then I’ve done my job. So far I’ve had some successes, and I’ve felt both amazing when my students left energized, and mortified when my students skipped. I’ve slowly understood that I can only help so much, and that I have a long path of refining the way I interact with them before I will ever feel totally confident (if ever).

But, I know this is spectacular, and something I am going to miss so much as of tomorrow. Okay, so thirty-five composition lessons in a week is a bit excessive…and there has been no classroom time for me to work with. Yet, it’s something I’ve taken a lot from, and I wish this summer program would last longer.

It’s also AMAZING to be able to teach with the above, simple goals, rather than ever dream of assigning grades.

Sean Hanson