Relationship of teacher and student in music

When you have individual lessons, you develop a close relationship. In music, the teacher becomes the mentor.

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My music collaborator in Hawaii wrote, “Losing a teacher is like losing a parent.”

She knows. She is a singer.

In music we have individual lessons. We develop a one-on-one (or one-to-one) relationship with our teachers. It’s like that in doctoral studies, too.

I still keep in touch with my piano teacher from Okinawa though it has been decades. Last year my piano teacher at university organised a concert for my piano guitar duo.

The same goes for composition. When a composer accepts you as his student, he takes on the responsibility of getting you to compose and develop as a composer.

What if you lose interest in composing? What if you stop composing altogether?

The teacher would be disappointed surely. Most would give up or lose contact.

But we continued to collaborate.

“Anne, I just wrote a concerto for euphonium. I’d like to perform it at your Piano As Orchestra house concert on piano with euphonium.”

It was the first time we had a brass instrument in the Monument House Concert Series.

At the next concert, he performed with cello in “Chamber Music Tapas Style” and with voice and cello in the “Glass Vase Concert.”

Had he not been ill, he would have served as a panel discussant in the most recent Monument House Concerts.

“Henk, would you write something for my piano guitar duo?”

We premiered Henk Alkema’s “Sailor Talk” in Cortona, Italy. We performed it in Amsterdam and La Coruna. We performed and released the CD of the live recording in Maui 2007. The score is now published with Donemus.

“Henk, do you have any piano duets I can use?”

Henk Alkema, who taught me composition, became a performer in the concerts I organised and a composer of a work I performed.

In music, your teacher becomes your mentor. The relationship is life long. When one dies, part of you dies.

After Henk Alkema retired from Utrecht Conservatory, he continued to volunteer his services, as teacher, conductor, and composer. Below is a clip featuring the Utrecht International Harp Competition.