• You Answered: What Did You Learn from Your Best Music Teacher?

    “It’s not just about the notes, but how to get from one to the next that counts.” A lesson in music—and life—from @lindalinmusic’s favorite music teacher. Recently, Carnegie Hall and The Achievement Program asked friends and followers on social media outlets what they learned from their best music educators. The responses went far beyond “just the notes.”

    Kathryn S. and Magda K. gave definitive answers: “joy and discipline” and “self-confidence,” respectively. Scarlet R. learned how to play “musically, not technically”—another lesson that precision is only a small part of the package. Pat S. felt that “anyone without music in their life in some way has been shortchanged … I learned that what I did mattered and that I always must do my best.”

    Many responders were similarly moved by their teachers, recalling profoundly significant educators and the ways their lives changed because of what they learned. Evan Y. shared a particularly touching story. He discovered “that music can help you through anything troubling you, whether it be grades, whether you’ll find a prom date, or if you have taken ill. One of my high school band directors lost his battle with cancer three years ago, but he never made excuses and always gave music his all, even to the very end. He is the biggest inspiration in my life—the reason I decided to become a music educator.”

    2010 Song Continues Workshop 

    A student guitarist works with her teacher. 

    It’s clear that teachers make a significant impact on their students. That’s why Carnegie Hall is proud to partner with Canada's The Royal Conservatory of Music to extend the legacy of independent music teachers now and for generations to come. Through The Achievement Program, a national set of musical standards for people studying music across the US, educators gain access to two different kinds of rigorous assessment: practical and theoretical. Both create an opportunity to recognize achievement and receive meaningful feedback.

    Forrest Kinney, a nationally certified teacher of music and the author of Pattern Play, is thrilled about the potential of The Achievement Program, encouraging implementation of assessment that helps “music students step beyond the acquisition of skill and knowledge into the realms of inspiration and artistry. Isn't that our most vital task as music educators?”

    Dr. Andrew Hisey of Minnesota’s St. Olaf College agrees. “The Achievement Program embodies a widely held standard of excellence and growth while offering choice and adaptability. A well-articulated standard—developed over time, reassessed regularly, and tested in a wide variety of contexts—inspires productive alignment among participators, teachers, and evaluators. Energy shared is energy multiplied.”

    Teachers interested in sharing the energy of The Achievement Program can RSVP to a Teacher Information Session in their area. Sessions are coming up in early September in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. To keep up with the Program, like it on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

    On Facebook, Kevin K. said he learned “love and the circle of fifths (ed. note: a representation of the relationship between the twelve tones of the chromatic scale and their associated key signatures). It’s nice having a road map to something you love.” The Achievement Program provides a proven musical road map, inspiring independent music teachers and their students to aspire to excellence.

    The Achievement Program website
    The Achievement Program on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
    The Achievement Program Teacher Information Sessions
    Carnegie Hall on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube