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Jack Hontz, Music Teacher

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Jack Hontz, Music Teacher

Our band leader, Mr. Hontz, raised his giant hands in the air, a long baton ready to dictate our every motion. My throat tightened as we approached the measure where my debut would be. The music grew into a crescendo which abruptly ended, followed by a horrifying silence. All of the notes in my head flowed with such ease; up and down raced complicated scales, but I was lost about how to conjure these tones from my rusty instrument. Instead of playing the fast paced flowery sixteenth notes, my mouth dropped. My eyes bulged, and my face reddened as the two hundred person band came to a screeching halt.
Our conductor looked at me, shook his head, and demanded we start a few measures previous to the one which sang my death sentence. I desperately pleaded with my fingers to hit the right notes. In response, they drenched themselves in mortified nervous perspiration. The band again started to play, but this time I decided to take my instrument, and when the time came, I blasted out some notes. They were incorrect.
This time, Mr. Hontz did not excuse my actions. He put the spotlight on me and demanded I play the solo. Fear had now overtaken my entire system, and I spat out a few notes which rang an irritating note. My teacher’s face grew red with rage, a perfect match to my humiliated scarlet hue. I sat there helpless as he barked at me, “Wrong! Do it again, slower!” I tried again, but to no avail.
I was in shock, shrugging in meek submission. Finally, this frustrated beast of a man twitched in bottled up agitation and turned his back to me. He returned to the podium, and we moved on. For the rest of the rehearsal I refrained from participating and sat in my chair, enveloped in shame.
At the end of practice, I shoved my instrument into its case in anger. Suddenly, Mr. Hontz came over to me. “Just work on that piece, okay buddy?” His mood had changed at a much faster pace than mine.
In awe, I just nodded and left. I now understood that it was my fault I had not known the piece, and nothing was personal. When I thought he hated me, he saw the potential in me. This was a testament to his ability as a true teacher. Even if he went insane temporarily, it only was to make me improve. Truly Mr. Hontz, my music teacher, had a remarkable impact on me which follows me in every aspect of life.





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Lemongirl4 said...
May 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Mr. Hontz! Still keeping the fear and frustration of band alive and well. Nice writing, by the way.
 
Musician replied...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm
Music should never be fearful. He has the entirely wrong approach. He will always remind me of how not be teach.
 
Su L. replied...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 11:49 am
He's not a bad teacher, he's acutally the best band director I've ever been under. He doesn't make you fear music, he just uses his louder-than-average voice to motivate you to keep trying and do better next time. His seeming anger is what  you need to push yourself to keep practicing to make that audition or earn first chair. When he's not doing that, he's just about the nicest guy to be around, and one of the funniest. Mr. Hontz by far has made me a better musician, and a more motivated s... (more »)
 
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