You Can be a FiddleStar

I post things about fiddling. And how we can all be better at it.

<p>Drop the turkey. Drop it. #sirwinstoncup #bostonterrier #bostonterriercult #thanksgiving (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

Drop the turkey. Drop it. #sirwinstoncup #bostonterrier #bostonterriercult #thanksgiving (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>Always #thankful for my friend Miss Missy (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

Always #thankful for my friend Miss Missy (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>Great #gameday with @oldskoolmusik and her family (mom pictured here) #anchordown (at Vanderbilt Stadium - Dudley Field)</p>

Great #gameday with @oldskoolmusik and her family (mom pictured here) #anchordown (at Vanderbilt Stadium - Dudley Field)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>#someassemblyrequired #christmascameearly The Chowning men make fire. Or at least a giant tv. (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

#someassemblyrequired #christmascameearly The Chowning men make fire. Or at least a giant tv. (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>#sirwinstoncup got some new duds from our dear @oldskoolmusik and family. Looking sharp. #anchordown #bostonterriers #bostonterriercult #changingallegiance  (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

#sirwinstoncup got some new duds from our dear @oldskoolmusik and family. Looking sharp. #anchordown #bostonterriers #bostonterriercult #changingallegiance (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>New duds for Winston from our friend @oldskoolmusic #anchordown #sirwinstoncup  #bostonterriers #bostonterriercult #changingallegiance (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

New duds for Winston from our friend @oldskoolmusic #anchordown #sirwinstoncup #bostonterriers #bostonterriercult #changingallegiance (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>I knitted. #knitting #scarf #icantfeelmyhands  (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

I knitted. #knitting #scarf #icantfeelmyhands (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 211 weeks ago
Posted 211 weeks ago

Day One - Please Teach My Child

I decided to start writing here, once a week, and on Mondays, or thereabouts. If I don’t always make it, don’t judge. I thought I’d write about my teaching experiences from the previous week or about some things I’m facing in the coming week. I plan to be really honest. So again, don’t judge. 

Last week I experienced an interesting phenomenon, and not for the first time. I heard from a couple parents regarding getting lessons from both me and other teachers (the details aren’t important, I promise) and there was this vibe wherein these parents were worried that I, or other teachers (whose names are also not important) might or might not take on their kids as students. The whole topic has left me puzzled, I must admit. They said things like, “if so and so decides to teach my child then it must mean my child is talented” or “please teach my child, I swear he or she is really worthy”. And I was all reasonable and mellow but inside I was screaming, “Are you kidding me??!! What kind of teacher, me included, would not agree to teach your child for any reason other than logistical?!?!” Sure, if you want to get lessons for your kid at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and this particular teacher has a standing Friday night gig that ends when the bar closes then the chances of said teacher agreeing to that are minimal. And maybe a teacher is just out of open slots. If you teach 82 students a day, chances are you’re not always going to be as good to each of them as you might like. I know this from experience. Some teachers try to keep a reasonable schedule so they don’t go all nutty pants. It’s a good idea.

But back to the point, I know there are plenty of teachers out there who make kids audition, or prove themselves in some way and I know they have their reasons. And parents often talk about those teachers in hushed tones, because they’ve bought into the fantasy that those teachers have created around their exclusive personas. Trust me moms and dads, if a teacher is acting that way about teaching your kid, imagine how your kid is going to act after years of lessons with him. Or her. Ugh. 

A teacher should have standards. Students have to pay on time. Students have to practice regularly. Students have to treat teachers with respect and complete assignments on time. But teachers have to teach, not exclude. And as long as students are doing their part, we should be doing our part. Our part is to see each student as a potential musician, or soccer player, or fashion designer, or whatever it is we teach. We should open our arms to that student and say welcome - I’m going to show you what I know and try to explain to you in a way you can understand so that you can get better at this thing about which you are passionate. I do not care if you have “natural talent” or “a special gift”. I care that you’re here and that you want to learn. 

Parents, or even adults who are looking for teachers for yourselves, remember this. A teacher should approach you and your child with love, grace, and respect. If they ask you or your child to prove something to them before they will teach you, tell them to stuff it. You’re going to find someone who cares about things that matter, like living a kind and generous life.

Posted 211 weeks ago
<p>#sirwinstoncup made himself a fort. #bostonterrier #bostonterriercult #youcantseeme (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)</p>

#sirwinstoncup made himself a fort. #bostonterrier #bostonterriercult #youcantseeme (at Lynch Chowning Music Camp Headquarters)

Posted 212 weeks ago

 1/25/13
I am excited to embark on a new chapter of my working life - I recently gave my notice to the Pam Tillis organization and will no longer be touring with her or Lorrie Morgan (on their awesome Grits and Glamour Tour). I must admit, I'm sad to be leaving. It's been an incredible four years and I have learned so much. Thanks to Pam, her amazing husband/manager Matt Spicher, and my bandmates, especially the lovely and talented Mary Sue Englund, with whom I spent more time over the last few years than I did with my husband. And I wouldn't trade a minute of it...