The most discouraging thing for me when I arrived was to discover that Boniface had not been teaching any kids for at least one month. But yet, the kids had been working on the violin with Gideon, another teacher at the school, and also with Levy, the principal’s son. It was totally unacceptable, and I was angry and confused as to what to do.
After watching Boniface teach one class yesterday, it became painfully obvious that Boniface is just extremely uncomfortable teaching the violin. When we were last here, we gave him a complicated instrument, which he learned to play quite well given the amount of time we were here. He worked on teaching points with Anne Ogren, but it just wasn’t enough. He hasn’t really observed anyone teaching Lightly Row, let alone observing anyone teaching anything more than the Twinkle rhythms.
So it was no wonder that he was grasping at any excuse to stop teaching the violin. It doesn’t make it right, but seeing him at work at least explained things for me.
Boniface and I met and talked about the things that he’d like to learn. In addition to learning all of Book 1 (a big task), I think the order of attack will be: How to tune, and quickly; Tone quality; Bowings; Finale (music notation software); and…
Boniface and I will travel to Nanyuki and Nyeri, two nearby towns, where there are violin teachers. I am hoping that one of them will teach Boniface on a weekly basis. Boniface is a natural teacher, so I think that if he can learn to play the violin, he will be able to teach it. I just hope these teachers are good violinists, not just violinists who call themselves violinists because they own one.