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"Sir, why do they sell those strings UNTUNED?" | Photo: Felix Koutchinski (Unsplash)
"Sir, why do they sell those strings UNTUNED?" | Photo: Felix Koutchinski (Unsplash)
Anna Marie Hradecká -

Quotes from the Music School: Guitar Taps, Talking Clefs and the Art of Excuses

It's starting again – the classrooms of music schools and private teachers are filling up with a variety of sounds produced by aspiring musicians trying to master their instrument or their own vocal cords. And there is no doubt that a number of memorable statements, worthy of inscription on the UNESCO list, will be uttered. Just at the start of the new school year, we bring you a selection of last year's "gems".

Self-confidence above all

A teacher corrects a 10-year-old student, "You are playing the wrong rhythm here."
The student protests: "I know the rhythm, it's just the length of the notes that throws me off."

Teacher: "Did you like last week's concert?"
Student: "Yeah..."
Teacher: "And what act did you enjoy, who did you like?"
Student: "Hmmm.... I guess that would be me."

After the concert, the student hands the teacher a box of chocolates with the words: "Miss, congratulations on teaching me."


"I couldn't practise this weekend, my cat was sitting on my case."

At the end of winter: "Please, can you excuse me from the flute lesson? I'd like to go outside to enjoy the last snow."

"I'm not coming tonight. It's my girlfriend's birthday, and she forbade me to go to my guitar lesson."

At the conservatory:
Teacher: "So, did you practise during the holidays?"
Student: "Sir, I was afraid that I might learn some bad habits that would be hard to fix, so I rather didn't practise at all..."

There's nothing like honesty

Teacher: "Did you play during the holidays?"
Student: "Yes, I played."
Teacher: "And what did you play?"
Student: "PlayStation."

A text from a student: "Miss, don't be mad at me, will you? I don't know anything, just a little bit of one composition. But I am going to bring my sheet music. But please be nice to me again, I better write in advance. Do you want me to get you something to help you relax? I'll give you a croissant for free!"

Teacher: "Have you looked at the scale?"
Student: "Yes, I did, but I didn't learn it."

Piano lesson:
Student (10 years old): "I mean, I haven't practised and I can't play anything, that's true, but I'm fun all the time... You're only fun if I can play something."

Student (13 years old) during the process of choosing a new piano piece: "Just let's not play that old man with the wavy wig again."

Teacher: "You are still not able to play it. Do you think you'll learn it before I retire?
Student: " Well... And when will that be?"
Teacher: "In about thirty years."
Student: "I could probably manage that first line."

Music theory lesson:
Teacher: "So we agreed that the treble clef is the G clef. And what is the G key telling us?"
Student: "Well, it's never said anything to me."

Student: "A few years ago, I wished that Santa would bring a piano. And now, for several years, I've been wishing he would take it back."

At the beginning of a lesson:
Teacher: "So, how did it go?"
Student (13 years old) cheerfully: "Well."
The teacher points to the sheet music.
Student: " Oh, THIS? I didn't play that."

Student (age 6) apologizes: "Miss, I don't have the sheet music because my mum woke us up late this morning, didn't get our stuff ready, and her nightgown was inside out."

Taking care of teachers

A piano lesson with an 11-year-old student:
Student: "And how did you spend the holidays?"
Teacher: "Oh, it was nice, I was with my family and friends, played some concerts and stuff..."
The student, shocked: "You have friends?!"
Teacher: "Do you think I'm so awful that I don't have any?"
Student: " Well, like... You have a piano, so..."

Teacher: "Please play a little louder, I can hardly hear your right hand."
Student: "Good for you, miss."

Student (2nd grade): "Miss, is this your job or your hobby?"
Teacher: "This is my job and my hobby."
Student: "So you HAVE another job, don't you?"

Fighting the musical element

A trumpet student is struggling with a composition where the highest note is F5 just before the end of the piece. After the third failed attempt, he says: "I don't get it, why did he write that note in such a stupid place where I am already out of breath? Forgive me, sir, but the composer couldn't have been a trumpet player!"

The most classic line ever:
Teacher: "Play the whole exercise again."
Student: "From the beginning?"

The student was given a new etude in F minor.
Teacher: "And next time, don't forget the Rit. at the end."
The student quietly replies: "That's going to be more of an R.I.P. next time."

A  student (10 years old) has found out that she will have to join an ensemble next year. She was really unhappy about it:
Student: "That's going to be terrible."
Teacher: "How so?"
Student: "There will be people!"

Violin lesson:
A student (10 years old) is playing a piece in E major. It's not really in tune and it doesn't quite work rhythmically or bow-wise.
Teacher: "What's missing?"
The student brightens up: "It should have a groove!"

Teacher: "I have a beautiful new piece for you, a composer friend of mine sent it to me."
Student: "No way, composers are all dead!"

Guitar lesson:
Teacher: "You're not in tune..."
Student (3rd grade): "Oops, I was turning a different tap!"

First lesson with a new guitar. After introducing the instrument and basic concepts, the teacher begins to tune the guitar.
The student says angrily: "Sir, why do they sell those strings UNTUNED?"

The sweet life of musicians

Teacher: "What are you going to do during the holidays?"
Student (6 years old): "I'm going to LERAX and drink soda!"

Student: "I'm looking forward to mastering the piano. Then I won't have to practise anymore!"

Two teachers passing each other in the hallway:
Teacher 1: "So, how's it going?"
Teacher 2: "Great. Let's see if it lasts when the students come."

Tagy music school just for fun

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Anna Marie Hradecká