One of my most satisfying teaching hours every week is spent with a young man who is blind, non-verbal, autistic, and severely developmentally challenged.  After 16 years of study he is able, while inside of a piece of music, to exercise control and to feel emotional involvement in a way that seems not available to him otherwise, except on a purely animal level, perhaps, when he loses his temper, for example.
Today it was a matter of his performing together with me a duet in which I sang a counterpoint to the melody he played.  It was fascinating to behold his temptation to leave his line and join me in mine, and then to watch him grasp the real intensity of the situation: to resist going where I go and to stand firm with his own task.  
I don't know when I have been more deeply moved in teaching a lesson.
 


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