Mother's Day with Gretchen (013)
I tripped home to Buffalo this Mother's Day to sit down with my first teacher, Gretchen Meister Brand. A professional violinist and Suzuki violin teacher who has also taught Sunday school, and social studies in public and private schools, Mom taught me how to braid bread, play fiddle, and disagree with others respectfully, to name a couple things. In this month's special episode, we discuss the value of praise in teaching and child-rearing, my grandmother Miriam George Meister, and a method of talent education that aims for world peace. (Photo by David Brand.)
Thanks to Mom for agreeing to not only guest the show, but to take her fiddle out of the case after three years in order to play on the soundtrack. We rocked out on violin duets by Bach, Béla Bartók, and Jacques Féréol Mazas. With Gretchen at the piano, we played a few Twinkle variations, Bach minuets, and other hits of the Suzuki Violin Method. Thanks as always to Shayfer James for permission to use instrumental versions of "Weight of the World" and "Villainous Thing" from his album Counterfeit Arcade for intro and outro.
The theme of praise in this month's episode is most related to the mantra I learned from Roger Fisher and William Ury. The strategy, however, I internalized from my mom at a very early age.
Here's one that doesn't mention my mother directly, but she's there in spirit. (When you get to the Maslow, remember she was a psychology teacher for many years.) I see it as a twin concept with the above, so I'm including it in this sampler.
This post about the power of seating arrangements (which, as you'll see, I first focused on thanks to Mom) is one of the most globally popular articles I've written. In the past week, for instance, it's gotten visits from Sri Lanka, Botswana, Finland, and Elizabethtown, PA.