1. If the teacher says ‘these are my available times,’ then those are, in fact, her available times. Only barter if she has a tattoo on her forehead that says ‘LOL my time’ which she doesn’t, so don’t barter.
2. Teachers are humans, too. Feed them.
3. The fancier the better, though. Fuck an apple.
4. Honestly, quality sashimi goes a long way. But be legit; serve that with soy sauce, wasabi, and dye-free ginger, or it just looks half-assed.
5. One time, I got a pound of galbi. Just, this is the competition.
6. It IS a competition. One pound of galbi = yes, yes you do sound like Heifetz.
7. Another kid brought me two pounds of Lavazza. That kid is now at Curtis.
8. Never ever give anyone, teachers or otherwise, sugar free anything. We don’t like doing it, but we will shit our pants to make a point.
9. If, after playing for several minutes, you are asked, “So, how did practicing go this week?” do not answer with any variation of, “Good!” “Fine” and “ok” are also out.
10. For serious, one kid gives me homemade baklava every year. A whole tin of it.
11. If you are asked, at any point in time, to diagnose a certain issue in what you just played, do not say, “My mom…” anything. You can blame the teacher because we find that funny and will spend the rest of the lesson making you do long tones on a B#.
12. So ok, this one family used to feed me dinner like every week and then all of a sudden they stopped and now one of their kids thinks every Viotti concerto is a single B# held for four straight minutes.
13. If you are asked why you did not practice, the answer, “well, school…” will (eventually) make you yearn for a B# long tone. Other answers that will invoke the wrath of fingered octaves and Sevcik include:
“I had a birthday party to go to.”
“I had a sleepover.”
“Seventeen noodles that took me six days to eat.”
“There was a sock issue.”
14. If things get really dicey, you can totally do gift cards. One time, a student handed me $100 to my favorite restaurant, which they knew was my favorite because being prepared for a lesson means a lot of different things ok.
15. Meltdowns are fine. I’m having one right now. We’re all going to be just fine. Don’t forget the soy sauce.