Performing Musician & Teaching Artist
Being Centered – An essay for Terry “Try It” Boyarsky by Melanie Buchanan, Graduate Student, VanderCook College
Pride, defensiveness, fear of change, lack of confidence, embarrassment – there are many conscious and unconscious reasons that prevent us from learning and I am sure that among the group of 33 music teachers that entered the room on Monday morning, many of these factors were present.
By Wednesday morning she faced a group of people that were hanging on to her every word. Able to mesmerize us, I began to understand and believe the comment that left us all whirling on our first day: “My 3-year-olds listen to me because I expect them to.”
This woman with an east about her – that never demanded anything of us, yet expected more than we ever thought we could give. Asking the impossible with a confidence that couldn’t be knocked, a sly grin that we came to know as “Try it.”
Throwing caution to the wind has been easy for me in the right environment. The last 5 days have taught me how to take a risk even outside of my usual teaching environment. It has taught me to trust something a little different and it has given me support that music is not only important but essential to the child; that music can be fun.
The information that I learned in these 5 days will continue to bring children running through my music room doors bubbling with the thrill of learning more. I walk away more centered, aware that rhythm and life are more than just partners; I walk away with new concepts not just new lesson plans; I walk away with a new way of looking at tone, rhythm and a new natural ease of teaching these concepts. I have a new color on my artist’s palette – it enhances my colors of enthusiasm, natural ability and knowledge. I call it Dalcroze Eurhythmics.
“Try it” says that her 3-year-old students listen because she expects them to. Her grown-up students listen because what she has to say contains magic.