I’ve been working my socks off with my music course but feeling rather despondent thinking that I was not up to it. My energy levels have been growing lower and lower as I got more tired and hopeless.
Today I got my last assignment back and guess what? The energy has come flooding back. Very good marks but what really made the difference were the Tutor’s comments.
I know where this lack of confidence comes from. School of course: same old story whoever you talk to. One or two teachers tell you that you are no good at something and it remains in your head for ever: especially sad if it is something you loved.
So now I cannot wait to hit the course books and scores again. The hard work is paying off and I feel remotivated. I love the harmony work and the score analysis, rather like doing sudoku, which I also love. All in all, I sit alone in my room, miles away, concentrating on form and modulation, orchestration and structure, and forget the time. Then I go out and meet people and realize how sad it is to be so satisfied living in one’s head.
This reaction has been a particularly pertinent reminder for me at the moment. I am always so careful with my own marking and I take hours writing ‘feed-back’ sheets for the students, trying to offer constructive criticism and suggesting ways in which they could do better.
I was asked to do some emergency moderating for the Department this week as three other tutors are off sick and cannot do the work. The Exam Board is in 12 days time, the External Examiner is coming to Sheffield to check out how we are running the courses and to comment on the modules, and anyway the students are desperately waiting for their marks. I am up to my eyes with my own work, but what can you do? So, despite the urgency, I will remember to take my time, bearing in mind just what an effect my words might have on the students.