December 20, 2013

The reform process of the home page is completed – thanks for the brilliant design work to Tuomo Tomperi!

Website reform, in addition to the VS-kantele project, formed the main themes of my autumn, and now it is finally the time for a short interlude review. The workshops held among the school and kindergarten teachers and children have given me some insights, one of which is the reminder of the fundamental importance of the resilient root level work.

It has happened (among adults) that after the workshop participant has left the first meeting filled with eagerness and enthusiasm, she/he comes back dragging her/his feet and having the “I-know-nothing”-look on her/his face. And as the mentor is struggling to light the fire of the enthusiasm again, she has to ask herself: how will I stabilize this fire to become a steady heat-generating power source which wouldn’t die in the tidal wave of everyday life?

The answer may lie in the process of building and strengthening the self-confidence of the student. Short workshops can include fun experiences and offer inspiration, but to learn the required skills to be able to use the instrument independently you need something more than just one inspirational meeting. Just as in life in general, also the budding student of a musical instrument needs to be able to trust that there is someone to rely on when his/her own knowledge and skills dry up.

From this observation there goes a direct link to the teacher’s gnawing sense of inadequacy. If Graham Greene is anything to go by, dragging this long feeling of failure is by no means the exclusive right to the teacher but the same cafard is casting a shadow at least on the doctor’s and writer’s life, as well (Graham Green, A Burnt-Out Case, 1960). And thus, let us be merciful and truthful to ourselves as well as to others.

And enjoy the peace of Christmas.