A friend of mine from my student teacher training program at DePaul once told me a painfully funny (to me, at least) story from his middle school student teaching days:
A bassoonist by trade, this student teacher had been assigned to strong music program in a very posh Chicago suburb. The first week he was “on the job,” his mentor teacher asked him to demonstrate for new band recruits… on the tuba!
It didn’t matter that this student teacher (bassoonist, remember) couldn’t actually play the tuba–the regular teacher decided that it would be a good experience for him. Yikes!
Anyway, he muscled up and gave it the old college try, hacking through what must have been a few entertaining blats and plops of sound.
After he finished, the mentor teacher sidled up to him and, whispering in his ear in a very serious tone, said “You know, that wasn’t very good at all.”
Duh! Gotta love humiliation in music. We’re all one wrong move away from making a complete fool of ourselves in this business anyway, but still, why pile on the pain like that?