Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Most Unlikely Of Places

It's happened at the gas station whilst I was pumping gas.

It's happened at the grocery store right by the checkout lanes.

It's happened in some of the most unlikely places, but a teacher is seemingly always available.

No place is ...errr, safe.

The two instances above refer to two of the many unlikely places that I have had parent-teacher conferences outside of the classroom/school setting.

Tonight was another such occurrence.

Only this time it was with a potential student.

The discussion was with a carry out boy at my nearby grocery store.

He and I have become friends over the past year or so.

He's talked with me about taking music and piano lessons.

I've given him my card so he could contact me.

Tonight while still in the checkout line he asks me about music scholarships at my school.

Our conversation continues as we walk out to the car talking about auditions for scholarships.

He asks what he should work on to prepare for an audition.

I mentioned scales and arpeggios (of course) then some composers whose music would make good selections.

Then I mentioned sight reading.

No surprise he kind of ducked his head and said he wasn't very good.

(Most musicians aren't.)

I gave him some ideas and stressed how it was a learned skill, something to do every day, blah, blah, blah (typical music teacher rhetoric).

He said he'd never thought about practicing sight reading.

I imagine many musicians don't.

He said it was hard and he wasn't very good.

I told him it is slow going, but gets easier with PRACTICE.

Knowing he attended a local denominational church I suggested he play through a church hymnal.  It would be good sight reading practice and could also be a service to his worship.

I asked if he had a hymnal.

He said yes.

We talked a little longer about other things then he said apologetically,  "Ma'am, I'm sorry. I don't have a hymnal." He went on to explain that where he went to church they didn't have any, but the "bigger church" (I'm guessing his church was a mission field or branch of a larger church) did have hymnals.

I told him I would bring him a hymnal that he could keep.

He acted embarrassed by that.

I told him I had more hymnals in my home than some churches. That I would put one in my trunk for him and when next he was my carry out boy (he ALWAYS is when he is working when I go shopping - I've watched him leave another lane to help me).

I'm not sure if this was a recruitment conversation, a teacher-student consultation, or a door-opening-moment for mission work.

Who knows where this will lead?

Regardless, I am putting a hymnal in my car for him.

And I might add a Bible to it while I'm at it.

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