Why does Finland’s education system shine on the world stage? Many reasons: yes, kids are encouraged to play, indoors and outdoors, whatever the temperature. And a major factor is that teachers are well-paid, highly trained–and valued.
Let’s express our value for exceptional teachers who changed our lives. I’m grateful to those who saw potential in me that I could not envision. Who encouraged, nurtured and inspired me onto my paths as teacher, musician, author and historian.
A few words of thanks can mean so much!
In Sounds and Souls: How music teachers change lives (as they do!) I wrote:
For two beacons who lit my voyage into music, teaching and indeed, life:
John Curro, for opportunities, vision and the challenge of ‘Why not?’
David Shephard, who listened, encouraged, and whose sounds warmed my soul.
As did pianist Anna Goldsworthy
Her book Piano Lessons describes a decade’s relationship between student and piano teacher Eleonora Sivan. It is honest and often moving.
Imagine if someone wrote about their experiences of learning with you…
I look forward to co-presenting with Anna Goldsworthy 29 June–1July.
Townsville MTAQ Alan Lane Memorial Weekend
My topics will be:
- How to prepare for a confident performance
- Excel in Exams, Recitals and Auditions
- Performance at the cocktail concert.
Nature, Nurture–or neither?
In Sounds and Souls I pose and answer questions of how I would teach child Ruth, with her various technical, rhythmic and foundational insecurities. Nonplussed in theory lessons with Alan Lane:
I had suffered cultural and social shock when catapulted into a large city high school, Somerville House. When baffled, I couldn’t find the words to ask for any explanation. I sat mute when my theory teacher wrote ant–track marks on manuscript paper. I was mystified by chords called IIc–V–I or V–VI.My painful fog matched his chain–smoking haze. I was too tongue–tied to ask for clarification.
Back to my outback roots – to present in Hughenden July 3
What a metamorphosis has been my own journey from Slim Dusty to Mozart! Schooling was through correspondence lessons– a far cry from the present School of Distance Education. Last year at Mt Isa Eisteddfod we adjudicated young musicians over the airwaves!
On our sheep station outside Hughenden I played recorder to the poddy lambs. How did I surmount technical challenges and culture shock? I discuss this in Sounds and Souls and also in the second part of my memoir Midnight Sun to Southern Cross.
On July 3 I’ll present two sessions as guest of Hughenden Flinders Library:
- Writing Life Stories
- Journeys–from Finland snow to Outback dust
These link my own circles around the globe with those of inspiring forebears.
Off your beaten track?
Catch my WEBINAR Writing Life Stories on June 16 at 10.30am.
Nature, Nurture–or neither?
In both Sounds and Souls and Midnight Sun, I explored the culture shock of an outback childhood. Apart from a grandmother’s musical family, Classical music was foreign territory. But…
Life’s journeys can take us way beyond our expectations.
The impact and inspiration of two teachers shone rays of light into my own culture-shocked adolescent life. Dr Pamela Davenport and Gill Bridgwood recognised potentials in an insecure, shy outback girl catapulted from a dusty flat horizon into a big city school.
They took me under their wings; Mrs Bridgwood slipped to me the sort of books that evangelical Christians burned, like Catcher in the Rye.
Seated at my desk I read poetry and play characters with relish. But when I was given a lead part in the school play, I froze. Eagle eyes pierced me!
I was relegated to the back of the Greek chorus.
In later decades I evolved from that shy ‘bush’ child who hid in the toilet block rather than face fearsome peers. I became an adult who welcomes platforms to reach out with words and music. When I now help people to confident performance of their words and music, I can say ‘The person you are now is not who you will be in a decade or two or five. If I can conquer such shyness and fears, even welcome public performance, so can you.’
The outback child would run a mile at the prospect of speaking in public. Now she enjoys such opportunities.
How did that evolve? Midnight Sun to Southern Cross tells the story…