Sunday, June 20, 2010

Teachers and students

Terttu shot this years ago in the early stages of our friendship on infrared film. It's amazing how in some shots, you can see my veins. I got to see her in Manhattan on Friday and it was so good to catch up, run errands together, sit in the park over and apple and trail mix, and trek to Angelica for picnic plates. When we did this shoot, she wanted to include my violin and my paper costume from a performance. That was when I was starting out w/the paper/violin/performance combo and everything was possible.

Today, I had a morning walk and tea with Barbara, my favorite teacher and friend--she has known me since I was in 7th grade as her orchestra student. She was crucial in my formative years, supporting me in ways I didn't know were possible, and being the best possible example of a self aware person in progress, always working to learn more and change and grow. When we went to the counter to order, I didn't recognize the woman who took our order, and grabbed a seat at the one remaining table. Barbara sat down later and asked if I knew a certain family, and mentioned the sisters' names, and I said, "the last name sounds familiar, but I don't know why." Then she got up again to look at pastries and I started to think a little more, piece the names together in my head, look at the woman behind the counter again, and suddenly realized: that girl was my violin student almost ten years ago! She was tiny for her age and had a tiny violin and was the best student in my chamber ensemble. I gave her a couple of private lessons at home after the summer music program ended and she went on to study with an amazing teacher that I had studied with briefly as an adult.

When I told Barbara, she said, "can I tell her??" and when Eleanor came over, Barbara said, do you know Aimee? And Eleanor said, "wait, were you my violin teacher..." and it turns out that she switched to guitar and voice and is off to college in California this fall. She said she still includes violin but it's not her main thing. I totally get that. She thought it was so funny that two of her music teachers were sitting in front of her. She looked the same: tiny, smart, and sweet. Gives me hope for future teaching and future students on a sweltering day.

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