Sunday, May 06, 2007

Want To Know How Not to Teach Music?

Here's Exhibit A:
A music teacher who twice ordered a seven-year-old pupil to hit himself in the head with drum mallets will not return to the Parkway School District next year.

The incident happened on February Ninth in teacher Paul Provencio's music class at Carman Trails Elementary School in suburban St. Louis.

State officials say the 36-year-old teacher intended the head-banging as a lesson to Justin Barricklow about hitting the drums too hard.
Great; that's all we need--one more student who probably won't stick with music because of an experience with a bad teacher.

In a college methods class, I once had a professor hit me on the hands with a violin bow because he didn't like my hand position. As a timid freshman at the time, I did nothing; the "current me" would have reported him to the dean. I also heard that the person I replaced as saxophone teacher in a few of my schools hit students with sticks and used to threaten to super-glue their fingers to the keys to keep them from lifting their fingers too high when they played.

I often wonder how many people abandon something they might have ended up doing really well just because of a bad experience like that; it's one more reason that a teacher's job is so, so important. This story would almost be funny if it weren't so wrong.

This one would be funny unless it happened to you: A gang of robbers in South Africa robbed a man's house while he was forced to watch them; they kept him subdued by gluing him to his exercise cycle.

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