kids in music class
My Teacher’s Tarantula
True horror stories from the field
by Ginevra Ralph, Director of Education
I collect stories about why people quit music lessons. I promise, I couldn’t even begin to make some of these horror stories up. They are all too often things that we as teachers or parents have done that turn youngsters off and inadvertently make them quit lessons.
Recently a woman told me that in school she had been in a serious recorder quartet that she loved and was good at. But she had a 2-hour weekly lesson that she simply dreaded. Why? Because at every lesson her teacher brought out his hairy, 3-inch tarantula that crawled around on his hands during the entire lesson. Her stomach knotted up even as she told the story 35 years later!
That story is just so weird it’s hard to explain! But it illustrates that as parents we need to watch and listen to our children – especially if they are avoiding something – as to what the real story is that they might not be comfortable telling us. Why couldn’t this woman just say, “MOM! He’s got a freaking tarantula, that terrifies me!” Why couldn’t I tell mine, “I can’t stand the way my teacher smells”?
Maybe he thought it was fun. Maybe I had a sensitive nose. The point is that music lessons are extremely personal, intimate in a way, and can be emotionally intense. If your student seems to be avoiding them, try to find out what might be going on that has nothing to do with music-making!
It is critical for any student to make a good match with someone so that they will want to spend this special time with them. At The Shedd we encourage each student to try out a couple of different teachers – and pick the one that works best for that student. Students don’t have to articulate why or defend their choice. Just come and be happy in their lessons.
And I promise – no tarantulas!!!
Term Announcements
Spring Term begins Monday, March 28.
Begin private lessons anytime!
No classes scheduled: Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day).
Focus on the Classes...
kids playing violin
The Music Box
Music Box provides a beginning foundation in music education with hands-on explorations of different instruments, songs and musical styles to help students discover the right “fit” for their musical interests and pick a favorite instrument for further study. Each week introduces a new song from our Music Box CD (ranging from spirituals, folk, jazz, bluegrass and more) followed by a hands-on introduction to a new instrument led by a Shedd Faculty member! Read more...
Musical dancers
Dance at The Shedd
The Shedd Institute Music School offers a range of dance classes each term with a special focus musical theatre and tap. This term:
Musical Theatre Dance
Beg/Int Musical Theatre & Jazz Dance (grd 9-adult)
Adv Musical Theatre & Jazz Dance (grd 9-adult)
Tap Dance
Tap Dance (grd 1-8)
Beg/Int Tap (grd 9-adult)
Advanced Tap (grd 9-adult)
Social Dance
Ballroom/Social Dance (grd 9-adult)
Singing Club
Adult Singing
Do you like to sing but don't know where to start or need to find a group of friendly folks to sing with? The Shedd offers several classes designed and led by Amy Adams for adults who are interested in recreational group singing:
Music School Registrar
Current term catalog PDF
Current Term catalog PDF
Spring Term 2016
Weekly Schedule
Spring Term 2016
April, 2016
Fri 01
May, 2016
Sat 14Vignola/Raniolo Guitar Jam Workshop
Fri 27
The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts (The Shedd)
E. Broadway & High Street, Eugene | PO Box 1497, Eugene OR 97440-1497 | Phone 541.687.6526 | Tickets: 541.434.7000 | Email:
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