My colleague at Iolani School, the Rev. Diane Martinson-Koyama wrote me after yesterday’s party: What a great celebration, Kathy! It was celebratory and inspirational at the same time! I hope you had as much fun as those of us who were enjoying celebrating your life and many talents, passion for organ, and faithful dedication to the church and the next generation of organists. I also realized in listening to your students how incredibly patient you are! To take someone from beginner to masterful is quite a journey!!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m getting ready for a presentation I’ll be giving at the Region IX American Guild of Organists convention in Bakersfield, CA and my topic is “Teaching Little Fingers to Play the Organ.” Of course, I will tell the group what teaching methods I use but probably the most important ingredients to have in one’s arsenal are love and patience.
What is truly rewarding to a teacher is when “the lights go on” for a student and they are able to experience joy in making music. That’s why I keep teaching and why the journeys are so sweet.
Today in Iolani Chapel, Chaplain M-K (as she is known there), told the students about the party she had attended for me. She quoted part of the letter that Joey Fala wrote to me that was read aloud: “… but what I want you to know today is what you mean to me as a ‘listener.’ In today’s world it’s so hard to find someone who will set everything aside and just listen — someone willing to have a heartfelt conversation. When two people can talk to each other about what they are passionate about, a very special bond will (be)come. You always talked to me about playing with feeling, but I think you’ve proved to me that you can also listen with feeling.”
She encouraged students to find their passions to give their lives meaning, purpose and a way to contribute to the betterment of society.
She concluded her homily with this: “If Mrs. Crosier did nothing else in her whole life, that this one person was so deeply impacted by her listening to him is an incredible testament to the value of her life.”