Teaching in the Moment

Loretta ODriscoll

Loretta O’Driscoll is the harp instructor, director of harp ensembles, and artistic director of Harp Camp at the Preparatory Center for the Arts at Montclair State University. She is the founder of Silver Strand Studio, and she teaches and plays professionally in the New York metro area.

Being present is more than merely showing up.

I have to admit there are times when I am teaching that I am not quite there. My mind wanders to other topics: emails I need to send, what my children need for school tomorrow, what I should make for dinner tonight. We’ve all been there.

Lately, I am challenging myself to be present when I teach. Not just present as a student finishes a piece or present as I might be at the beginning or end of a lesson, but present the entire time, paying attention to the nuances. This is not as easy as it might seem. It’s not as simple as just saying, “Ok, I’m going to pay attention during Suzy’s entire lesson today.” Buddhist monks devote their lives to attaining the focus and inner peace that are required to be fully present and living in the moment. So I’m not kidding myself. I know it will not be easy to be fully present and teaching in every moment.

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