A Message from Ron...

Since all my students, past and present, are aware of my constant state of disorganization and how I tend to be late with everything, I decided to surprise all and pen some end-of-year thoughts on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Teaching is full of rewards: helping students grow and overcome obstacles, watching as they achieve their aspirations, assisting the meek gain confidence and the arrogant, humility.  The lasting emotion, though, is disappointment – disappointment that I lose track.  Students are like children – they mature and (naturally) move on with their own lives.  It is always a shot in the arm when I hear from one of whom I’ve lost track.

Late this past summer I heard from Doug Farwell who had studied with me for four years at NCSA and two at Stony Brook.  Doug is now Associate Professor of Trombone at Valdosta State University and a clinician for Getzen.   Hearing from him was a boost and answered an oft-asked question (of myself): “I wonder what ever happened to Doug Farwell?”   Hearing from Doug jogged thoughts about other former students who now are teaching at the college level.  Those I know about are Scott Bean at Central Connecticut State University, Steve Davis at The Hartt School, Brad Edwards at University of South Carolina, Glenn Hosterman at Lock Haven University, David Loucky at Middle Tennessee State University, Mark Morgan at the U. S. Navy School of Music, Sandy Poindexter at Winston-Salem State University and Cameron Walter at the University of Toronto.

I would like to be able to say that I saw in each of these individuals that they could be college teachers and groomed them for that.  Of course that would be foolish, there being so many variables in this business.  It is entirely possible that, after leaving me, each was fortunate to hook-up with another teacher who had enough time and patience to undo what I had wrought and instill proper training.  Nonetheless, I accept partial responsibility and am extremely proud!

In closing, I would like to add that I am proud of all my students and of what they have achieved, in music or out.  I would like to hear from all.  And if these sound like ruminations from a senile old man, I apologize – though none of us is getting any younger.  Happy thanksgiving and best wishes to all.

 

 

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