Profe... as in short for Profesora. Since i've started teaching kids how to play the violin at the music school I've heard "adios, profe" much more frequently from the schoolkids around my block. They officially consider me a teacher and I'm not all the way sure why this puts a smile on my face and makes me feel all warn and tingly inside, but it does...so i'll go with it.
The music school has about 27 students, 4 of which are learning to play the violin. Its slow-going, especially now that school is back in session and they have tons of homework. However, they are extra-enthusiastic and committed to improving on their instrument.
I practice with the kids 2 or 3 times a week using a violin borrowed from the music school. They received a generous donation from a visiting church missionary group and decided to use the funds to purchase a violin (among other necessities) for the school. Which was great news because now I can practice on it at home and use it to help the kids at the school!
It's actually surprising sometimes to see how fast they pick up a new technique or learn a new song. My goal is to give them a solid foundation on the basic techniques, improve their sight-reading ability (playing music you haven't previously played) and encourage them to combine their feelings with the music to create their own interpretation of a song. I'm really pleased with their progress so far!
All this practice isn't in vain! They have plenty of opportunities to play in concert. Their next big concert will take place around Easter during one of the many parades that happen to celebrate the holiday. There will be a few musicians from Nicaraguans Symphony Orchestra, as well as other professional musicians. This will be a fun learning experience for the students.
One of the things I learned the most from this experience is music vocabulary in spanish. Its so different! The notes are not letters (A, D#, G). Instead, they have names (la, re sostenido, sol). I know that in general chorus you might've learn do, re mi, fa, sol, la, si, do as a warm-up exercise...but can you associate that with a note on a staff or on your instrument?? Well, I couldn't until I started working at the school. Also, I remember all the great music teachers I had over the years and their ways of encouraging me to enjoy the tedious process of learning an instrument. It takes A LOT of patience!
In addition, i've grown close with the friendly married couple that runs the music school. They each play an instrument (him- flute, her-piano) and are dedicated to improving not only the skill of their students, but also the quality of the school.