Welcome to the Innovative Conservatoire

ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK


On teaching

Timora Rosler

Last updated August 19, 2013

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

Kahlil Gibran

I brought this poem as I find it to be beautiful and it inspires me as a teacher to create an environment that encourages and motivates a student to take more responsibility.

It is possible that I let my students lean on my wings too much. As Gibran beautifully writes: “For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man…”

I’d like to try and find more balance to encourage my students to work, think and create independently. For me it would be ideal to be a combination of the elements which are in an instructor, a coach and a mentor. Depending on the student individually I can decide which one of elements will play the most significant role in my teaching that one particular student.

Now the painting “The Archer” by Khalil Gibran. And another quotation from his poem “On Children” to reflect on the painting:

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Finding the right balance between giving and taking. Giving stability -“He loves also the bow that is stable”- to a student (helping him develop a secure technique, being a critical listener, conscious of every musical choice, loyal to the style and spirit of the composition ) as making/letting him fly -“He loves the arrow that flies”- (finding his individual voice, keeping a curious/creative/artistic mind, develop his musical personality).