“Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult” Nadia Boulanger

Photo S. Parker

Nadia Boulanger – Photo Aeterna Christi Munera

What we can learn from the greatest teachers and mentors like ‘Madame Boulanger’ and many others whether known, or unknown who accompany us for some time, or just cross our path in our lives …

Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger was one of the most influential music teachers in history aside from being a composer and conductor.

She was of Romanian, Russian and French descent, born in 1887 in Paris and lived to the age of 92.

Her famous music students were Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Aaron Copland, Quincy Jones, Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass, John Eliot Gardiner, and Elliott Carter.

With her rigorous teaching style, she has enabled each of them to find their own distinct language: the true definition of a great teacher.

She was regarded as a fierce, uncompromising and forceful lady: charismatic, loyal and passionate, but also complex and complicated.

Her conviction was that one’s music can never be more, or less, than one is as a human being:

“I myself have learned by playing the violin from my dearest and highly regarded and valued Violin Maestro, who was not just teaching me scales and Violin Concertos, but his focus was on supporting me to develop my own voice and my own sound through learning about myself and life.”

He always said:

“Through your hard and rigorous work, your life experiences and inner growth you will have something to say which will then translate and reflect in your music and entice people to listen and enjoy your music. For that your music will have meaning and will be healing.”

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