I sat in the basement lobby with twenty or so people milling about and chatting. What we were really doing was waiting. Waiting for copius amounts of sugar to head our way. Waiting for the smores and caramel apples we were smelling to come parading in screaming “eat me!” Or so it would seem.

Against my better judgement, I snatched up a handful of apples and drizzled melted caramel on them while I talked nonstop to the girls who lived one door down from me. We pressed our way upstream through the rest of the line and found a spot where we could all easily fit. I sat in the middle of the coffee table. As I munched on a sugary feast I saw my reason for not eating sugar out of the corner of my eye. My 8:30 voice lesson was standing there, waving like mad in my general direction.

“Ten minutes!” I yelled through the miring din. I shoved an apple slice in my mouth as I charged upstairs to grab my lesson book. When I arrived at our planned meeting place, sat at the piano and we commenced the learning process. “This excercise is for, um…” That’s how I began most of my sentences. The majority of my inner monologue was going something like this

“Why are you saying ‘um’ so much. He really will think you’re a peabrain if you screw this up. Ok. Too much imitation is bad… Gah! That was the worst note I’ve ever sung! It’s ok. It’s a warm-up. Just focus and listen. Listen to him… oh that wasn’t right. But what do I say to fix that? Technical or not… Ok. I’m alive… Breathing. That’s the main problem. HOW IN THE WORLD DO I DO THAT? Just try. And whatever you do, don’t throw up on him. What!? Why would I do that? I don’t even feel sick. Stop with the coughing, Pokey!”

After this all subsided, basically when I was finished teaching, the two of us had a small chat in which he asked if he could play the piano. He sat down and improvised something more gorgeous than anything I could ever learn. Well, Piano Man, why do you think you need to learn to sing at all?

Thank you. The previous writing was an improvised monologue entitled “The Inaugural Attempt of a Learning Teacher”

One comment

  1. fibermom · October 14, 2004

    I think “Don’t throw up on your student” is probably an excellent goal. You probably just weren’t listening when she said that in class.
    And I also think you ought to include the internal monologue when you write the experience up — surround it with stuff about the trachea and larynx to show you’re serious, but put it in there.

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