I was recently at a fireworks show. But, instead of watching the night sky as it lit up with color, I instead found myself watching the crowd, because something very weird was happening. And it has changed how I teach piano to kids.
The odd thing I was witnessing was the fact that over 50% of the adults in the crowd were watching the fireworks through the screens of their smart phone. With their phones held high in the air, they were so engrossed in videotaping and photographing the “moment” (to then share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) that they themselves weren’t actually experiencing what it was they were so intent on capturing!
And once I started to pay attention to this phenomenon it became glaringly apparent – and I now notice it whenever I go to sporting events, concerts, family outings – people are so busy documenting what it is they’re doing that they forget to do what they’re doing!
Seeing My Piano Studio With New Eyes
I got to thinking about how I teach piano. Am I so engrossed in other things that I forget to just be in the moment and to “do what I’m doing”? Am I so busy thinking about what should come next? What has been? How to do more?… that I forget to really just be in the moment; to take my cues from my piano students, to simply revel in the joy that is making music with a child, to slow down and truly experience teaching piano?
My answer was yes… but the very next day my answer was no. How about you?