My daughter Jessica takes violin lessons from a skilled Suzuki teacher. The methodology originated in Japan and it is especially useful for teaching music to young children because it initially focuses more on ear training and muscle memory than note reading. It’s a beautiful milk before meat idea. Each week my small-but-growing girl begins her lessons by carefully holding her violin in rest position under her arm, gently holding her bow in the crook of her finger, bowing at the waist while saying “Will you please teach me?” To which her teacher responds, “Yes, Jessica, I would love to teach you.” In this mutually respectful manner they begin 30 minutes of music practice and instruction together. As her formal music training draws to a close each week, she ends the lesson in the same posture with the words “Thank you for teaching me” to which her teacher responds “You are very welcome, you may now pick a prize.” Though I don’t think Mr. Suzuki originated the prize box, it’s a great bonus for a six-year-old.
Last night, I found myself offering similar gratitude to heaven and then this morning as I began my day in prayer, I found myself thinking of this violin ritual and it’s words. As I move through this day, I am seeking to learn.