The One-Note-That-Is-Right Kind of Teacher

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Last Friday Ray and I had make-up music lessons. This time we sat together in our music teacher’s living room and played together. Ray played his guitar and I played my mandolin. One of Jimmy’s goals has been for the two of us to play together. It was a big moment for our teacher and for us.

We both praise Jimmy for being so positive and encouraging. He told us about a piano teacher he had once upon a time. Jimmy played 20 notes, getting 19 notes wrong and one note right. The teacher berated him for those 19 bad notes.

Later Jimmy began taking lessons from another teacher. Again he played 20 notes, getting 19 notes wrong and one note right. He was discouraged about the 19 notes, but this teacher talked about how wonderful the one good note was and spoke of their working to get those other 19 notes to be the same.

Jimmy is accomplished in so many areas of music. You should hear him play the mandolin and the fiddle. He sings. He writes songs. He’s learning to carve his own violin. He has dozens of students.

Ray and I went to hear his family band, the Bilbreys, last Friday night. You should have heard him play fiddle on the “Orange Blossom Special.” Wow!

Jimmy’s the grinning guy in the Smoky Mountains baseball cap.

His experiences with those two long ago piano teachers taught him a lesson that has blessed many, many people. He decided he would be a one-note-that-is-right kind of teacher. We all deserve those kinds of teachers. We all need someone who believes in us, and who lets us know it.

When we homeschool, our children have many opportunities to hear praise. Life is filled with opportunities for praise. Reasons to praise God are always around us if we open our hearts to them. Reasons to praise our children are all around us, too. When we homeschool, we can see those reasons if we pay attention. What a blessing for children to grow up hearing praise to God, praise for other people, and praise directed personally to them. The praise of a parent sinks deeply into the heart of a child. It is essential nourishment for his heart, soul, mind, and even his body.

I love to hear the praise God inspired the apostle Paul to give to his fellow believers in one New Testament letter after another. Here is one of those statements of praise in the letter to the Philippians.

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work among you
will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6



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