I love working with kids because say the funniest things.
Here are a few things I've heard over the years:
From Spring 2018:
Yesterday, offering 6-year-old Elijah a treat if he could play a passage perfectly, I asked, "Do you think you should play fast or slow?"
"Slow!" he exclaimed. The stopped and said, "No, that's not right, I should play sssssllllllllloooooooooooooooowwww."
And he did. He totally got the treat.
I was explaining syncopation to a student and she turns to me and says, "Syncopated.... Is that like "constipated?"
I loaned a violin to a student and she said, "My violin is like my baby. So when I borrow yours, it's like I'm babysitting!" Ruby age 12
When I teach students how to play a tune by ear, I always ask them to tell me when their brain gets full so that they don't get overwhelmed. Over the summer Bridget said, "I have, like, so much brain power! I'm not in school so my brain is empty!"
Shiloh age 8 said, "I pulled out my tooth on Christmas eve because I wanted to prove that Santa and the Tooth Fairy could come on the same night - and they did!" Well played, Shiloh. Well played.
Cooper age 7, after learning a new concept. Me: "I hope you're feeling proud of yourself." Cooper: "I am! I can feel the happy all the way from my toes to my head!"
I'd been teaching Ava age 9 the song Old Joe Clark. It's apparently based on a real person that lived back in the 1800's. He was a grumpy old man, so people wrote lyrics about all the mean things he did, to which Ava commented, "That's - like - ALL of Taylor Swift's boyfriends."
From Winter 2017:
Upon earning an “emoji” sticker, Clara age 7 exclaimed, “Emojis!!! I’m going to pick the devil emoji ‘cause I’m a little devil!” I’m guessing she’s heard that before…
Leah has been a violin student of mine for about 8 years. In one of her lessons, she asked me to teach her how to teach one of her friends to play violin. I said, “Wow, that would make me a Teacher Grandma!” which I immediately regretted saying because I then heard the phrase “Teacher Grandma” about 50 more times that lesson!
After I helped her compose her first song, “I’m a musician AND an author!” – Bridget, age 9
Sam is almost seven years old. He told me tonight he wants to travel around the world playing music for kids when he grows up. He's pretty sure he can make, like, ten whole dollars at this. I told him to look up Raffi on YouTube and that he could probably do a little better than ten. He said, maybe, but he'd probably still have to carry his own piano.
Janet is my Australian shepherd that hangs out in my studio all day. She’s adorable and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. “I can’t look at Janet while I think. She’s too cute.” - Clara, age 7
7-year old Sam started working on Dvorak's "Going Home." He said, "I think I'll like that song because I always like going home. Except from here." ::melt!::
Often when a student has performance anxiety I'll ask, "What's the worst thing that will happen if you miss a note?" A lot of times the answer is, "everyone will laugh at me!" or "I'll be embarrassed!" Usually saying it out loud helps them realize it's not the end of the world to miss a note and they calm down and play just fine. Well, I asked a 9-year-old student tonight, "What's the worst thing that will happen if you miss a note?" Without missing a beat, she shouted, "Chupacabra!"
A 10 year old student of mine looked at a sticker with a pug on it and said, "My baby brother looks just like that! His eyes are all ::googly eyes:: and his tongue is all sticking out!"
Today Bridget, age 8, said, "I want to learn a new fiddle tune! It's so cool that I'm so young and I know so many fiddle tunes!" Yes! Yes it is!And Jason, age 10, said, "Can we learn some more music theory?" Yes! Yes we can!
Six-year-old Eden turned to me in the middle of a music theory talk and wondered, "Did they call them eighth notes even a really long time ago? Like back in the 1980's?" I think she thought she was referring to the dark ages.
October 2014 (This isn't a "kidism, but it's noteworthy nonetheless.)
I wrote out a piece of music for a retired student that we then played together. When he first came to me two years ago, he could not read music. Today, with a huge smile he said to me, "You know I just about played through that the first time. That's an accomplishment for me. That's what I came here to learn."
I was talking to a young student about a quote I heard, explaining why we would now keep track of practice times on a chalkboard in my studio. "'That which gets measured gets improved.' What do you think that means?" Leah, age 10, replied, "The more measures you play, the more you improve!"
A new student, age 14, asked me if Kat Starr is my real name. I explained that it is, and I'm married but I chose to keep my last name. He replied, "If I married someone with a name as cool as that, I'd change mine!"
"E" strings on the violin are notorious for squeaking. It's not always the player's fault, if it's the wrong kind of string. I told Juliette, age 10, that if she bought a special kind of string that it would never squeak. "That's like a trick for sounding good!" she exclaimed!
Leopold, age 9, was playing violin with incorrect bowings, meaning his bow was going up when it should have been going down. I told him his bow was backwards, so he flipped it around and began playing with the stick instead of the bow hair.
This same day during lessons at my studio, I mentioned to Leopold that I had to go home to get something. He gave me a funny look and said, "You mean you don't live here?"
One of my students used to take violin lessons from a friend of mine from college. I asked Sadie, age 10, if she still saw her former teacher around town. She replied, "No, she has a job now."
Deidre, age 14, was learning how to conduct in her lesson. The hand goes down, to the side and back up in a fluid motion to direct the ensemble. This motion inspired her to say, "It's like I'm casting a musical spell!"
January 2014, KSM kid (age 3) – “I’m gonna practice one day, two days, three days, four days, five days, six days, seven days, eight days, nine day… I’m gonna practice ‘til I die!”
January 2014, KSM kid (age 9) – Talking about how his mom sees a chiropractor, “I saw my mom get popped by the pyro-cracker.”