I remember my piano recitals as a kid. I started taking lessons when I was in kindergarten (I think) and hated memorizing my pieces. I hated dressing up and going to that funny church and waiting my turn to pee my pants at the piano. It was horrible, awful misery. Yet, for some reason, I now make all my poor students do the same thing. That must be the essence of hypocrisy. Hm... am I a hyprocrite? Naw, I'm just a piano teacher, doing her duty as one-who-puts-on-recitals. Doing her duty as one-who-makes-sure-the-parents-know-their-kids-are-actually-learning-something. Doing her duty by proving-that-I'm-a-real-piano-teacher-because-I-make-my-students-memorize-songs-and-play-in-recitals. After all, it would decrease my validity as a teacher if I did not put on these horrible recitals.
As horrible as the recitals are for my students, they are a Piece of Cake for me. Maybe they wouldn't be a Piece of Cake for everyone, but for me, they're really a piece of carrot cake. Here's why.
When I compare my musical teaching life now to what my musical teaching life was like when I was a "music teacher" (at Freedom Academy), I'm livin' the high life. Instead of teaching 25 kids at a time, I teach one. Instead of teaching 625 students every week, I teach fourteen. Instead of communicating with 600 sets of parents, I communicate with seven (because I have sibling groups). Instead of spending my weekend preparing lessons and choir rehearsals, I spend my weekends enjoying myself. When it comes time for a performance, instead of setting up the stage and 200 chairs, I set up the Relief Society Room at our church. Instead of standing up at the front and conducting all the children while they sing, I sit at the back and let the kiddos do all the work.
Yeah, being a school music teacher was extremely rewarding, but a hecka-lotta work. Being a piano teacher is a Piece of Cake, comparatively.
But, I'm still not sure I want to do it forever.