inspiring our students through joy

I know I already posted about joy in teaching, but I just had to add this. :)

When I think of the word "joy" in the context of teaching, I think of my dear piano teacher, Bonnie Winterton. She is definitely one person who has truly inspired me in my life. She always exemplified joy and love in her teaching, and through her positive example inspired me (and I'm sure countless others) to become a teacher. When I went to her as an awkward, somewhat unsure of myself thirteen-year-old to audition for her studio, she said to me, "I teach teachers." And the way she said the word "teachers" made it sound like the noblest, most important career you could ever have. I think that really made an impression on me.

Her joy and love for teaching has everything to do with her love for her students, and I believe that this is something that truly instilled us with confidence. Whenever I performed at a much-prepared-for recital or concert or audition, no matter how I played she would always come up to me afterwards, look me in the eye with a big smile and say, "Be happy!"

To me, this is the kind of teaching I want to strive for; teaching that is full of joy and positivity, that instills in my students not only a love and appreciation for the music (and for teaching, if they choose to teach one day), but a confidence that will change their lives for the better.

Bonnie & I during my senior year of high school

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