Every time I attend an inspiring session at a conference, I love to take notes. Then when I want to incorporate something into my studio, I pull out my notebook and read through the awesome ideas I wrote down. Today I wanted so share a quote that came from my notebook of ideas, that I’ve been using as a theme for both for my students and myself. “Aún Aprendo” – it means “I am still learning” in Spanish and was used by the artist Goya. When this quote was used at a “Pedagogy Saturday” session at the MTNA Conference, they were discussing the process of aging and continuing to learn music.
I love this quote because it reminds me as a teacher that I am continually learning and growing. Each day I study and prepare to teach students in the most creative and fun way that will help them engage in music as fully as possible. While I’m sure I make plenty of mistakes, I hope I’m improving little by little as well. For my students, I hope they come with this attitude no matter what age they are at. Playing the piano takes plenty of practice and self discipline to keep learning even when you hit a tough spot. Small victories along the way prepare us for the next hurdle, the next difficult section or the next practicing session. So my goal for myself and my students right now is to find the joy in saying “Aún aprendo.”
Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com