Teaching is Performing, Performing is Teaching

I have a hard time differentiating.

When my students hear me play during lessons, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, I still play as if it’s a performance.

Similarly, when audiences hear me perform, there’s enormous potential for learning about music, about performing, about the performer, and about their selves.

In these situations, am I teaching, or am I performing?

Both.  Neither.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about their similarities, and less about their differences.

Teaching is a means for self-expression just like any performance.  I craft lesson plans as performers craft recital programs. How I structure lessons is similar to how I compose and improvise over tunes.

I strive to structure my words, phrases and lessons to genuinely and precisely represent my thoughts and life.  But equally important is making sure it resonates with my students.  Thus, the most effective teachers initiate feedback loops with students just as effective performers do.

In a sense, teaching is the ultimate test in performance. Or, is performing the ultimate test in teaching?

Both.  Neither.  It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that they both fulfill my desire to connect with myself, and with others.

What do you think?

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