I'm back from my summer holiday and I see that its high time I started blogging again! I'll begin with a short story.
Last year, I thought about ways to improve my pedagogical composition skills. Those thoughts led to many good things (like my master's degree!) but I also decided to take some composition lessons, seeking to improve my skills in musical composition, specifically educational composition.
I prepared for the composition lessons by selecting what I thought were the best of all my compositions. I had perhaps gotten too used to the positive response that I've had from my students, but when I showed the pieces to my teacher, his response was baffling to me, at first. The pieces he liked best were the ones that had met with least success with my pupils, and the ones that all the pupils always liked to play were - according to my teacher - if not altogether lackluster, then at least in need of some serious reworking.
Needless to say, I went home in a thoughtful mood.
I had already realized earlier that it would be a special challenge to find a teacher who could see and understand the needs and tastes of the people I'm, writing for: young guitar players. I'm not sure that such a composition teacher exists, but in any case I had failed to find one. On the other hand, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of what kind of music most guitarists like to play.
This experience taught me something that I already knew, but needed reminding of. I have to trust that I know what I'm doing!
How about you - have you had experiences like this, with teachers or elsewhere?