Posted by Claudia Moser on 7:30 PM in ,

Without music life would be a mistake.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

A couple of months ago I posted for the A to Z Challenge my music interests, for those who are curious a simple search can reveal these directions. But for me music is more than the wonderful companion I need while relaxing, more than the soothing sounds, more than my husband's hobby (and I do tell you he can play his guitar!), for me music is a friend but for a long time it was my enemy.

To explain why ...

While in school, at the age of 9 you end up in a class which receives one teacher as a tutor, as a mentor. My class had the music teacher allocated to perform this task. She was a delicate woman, very tiny, and her music instrument was the accordion. At a first glance you thought that she was sweet and easy going, but that was a mistake. She was rather snappish, sometimes harsh, but most times fair. Anyway she was not only our mentor but also our music teacher, so during our first lesson she tested our voices and knowledge. So here I am, singing a children's song in order to demonstrate my capabilities. And her reply was: 'Since the door is closed, I am happy the windows are open so your colleagues can flee during your singing'. I was speechless, and could not be bothered to sing again, I never opened my mouth again, I only did tests in writing, and she never encouraged me to sing at all. For many years, music was not an attraction, clearly I enjoyed listening to it, but I was scared and somehow afraid. It took many years until I managed to sing in the shower, or in the car while listening to the radio, but to be honest deep down I am still insecure. A friend and an enemy ---



I am always astonished how teachers can change the course of our lives with an unkind and thoughtless remark. Pay no attention and sing on! I'm so happy you have music in your life and sing out loud and strong, Claudia!

I am so sorry that you had that awful experience early in life. If only teachers knew the damage they inflict.

In our community band, the director told the young impressionable grade 9 girl that she had a flaw as a drummer because she always slows down. These kind of comments stay with young impressionable kids and can make them give up early. They take these comments to heart as you did and shy away.

My husband remembers being singled out by a teacher who told him he couldn't sing when he was a kid about fifty years ago. Painful stuff that stays with you.

I do hope that as an adult you can rekindle a love for music and forget that insensitive teacher. Music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. It's a universal language. Play on!

I had a piano teacher who was similar and the only time I faked illness was for my piano exam because I was so afraid of her. I hope you do go back to music you will probably enjoy it so much

I agree so much with Sush. It's amazing how unthinking teachers can be when they make such awful comments. I can still remember things that a certain teacher said to me way back in the early 60's. Things that certainly didn't give me any confidence!

When we are children we take what adults say to us as the truth. It is sad a teacher would say such an awful thing to you. I'm glad you can enjoy music and hope you keep singing!

It always amazes me the way that some teachers talk to kids. What a mean thing to say to you!!
Music is a wonderful mood lifter. :)

@Sush - now that I am an adult I can look back with other eyes, but strange enough I still feel the pain.
@WriterCat - music is indeed meant to be enjoyed, but somehow the trust to sing in public is never there, and I have to live with it. Not a big drama, but still ...
@Inge - I can totally understand
@Diane - indeed, that is the point, they do influence our life!
@Belle - music is a language everyone understand, but not everyone has a voice. That is clear for me!
@Ellie - I totally agree!

It's scary how a teacher's flippant comment can have life long negative effects. I only hope I've never said anything hurtful, without realizing it, to a student.


That was always a fear for me, had me double checking my words, as a teacher. The worst thing a teacher can do is put a child down like that. Nearly every adult can remember their best and worst teachers, even in old age. That being the case, what we say to a student should always be carefully thought out and never derogatory. This teacher did not have the training, or maybe the aptitude, to do the right thing by you, Claudia, which is sad. I am glad that you do not think music is such an enemy now and I hope you sing, because singing lifts the soul xx

Claudia - I think teachers (and others who work with children) often do not realise the effects their words may have on a child, but the teacher in your experience should have known not to say something so destructive and so confidence-destroying. Even if she intended it as some kind of 'joke', it was cruel and heartless.

Awful, awful teacher! It's amazing how one sentence can change us as a child and even as an adult. I pray you sing and sing loud!

@Joyce - indeed you are right, teachers can influence our life more than we know.
@Mojo - I am sure you are a great teacher
@Paula - well such is life! I learned how to overcome the moment
@Anna - will do :)

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