Friday, July 29, 2011

Bare Bosom Teacher? No Thank You!

When Frances* retired from teaching, she became a student again, learning to play the cello.  She loved her teacher Marie's skill and knack of inspiring her. She also appreciated her ladylike standards.

After two years' collaboration, Marie announced the bad news. She would soon be moving to another city. Frances and the other students would have to find a new teacher or else travel 5-6 hours per lesson.

Shortly after this devastating news, Frances attended a regional cello day attended by 45 cellists and their teachers. Frances used the opportunity to survey the one teacher who would live closer than Marie. She was not happy with what she observed and came home with the despairing conviction that she would have to travel for lessons.

In discussion with one of her accompanists
What do you think it was that swung her opinion against the teacher? Any guesses? It was something that would be easy to fix and yet seemed insurmountable. The teacher was sharing with the world a vast expanse of her bare bosom.

Frances shuddered at the thought of the woman leaning over her to correct her finger positions or bowing technique. She did not need that distraction.

She remembered Marie's other students in search of a teacher. Would the parents of the several 11 and 12 year old boys be happy with their sons studying bare breasts along with their music?

Getting into the maestro mood
You might ask, What's wrong with a male getting an eyeful of public breast? You will find an answer to that in this letter from a Christian male who longs to honour women in his thought life but meets with continual obstacles placed in front of him by the very women he wishes to honour.


Sharing the joy of music with people who had never seen or heard a live cello
Wondering what to do about preventing public eyefuls? Set an example with your own dress, by being consistent in this, then share with other women what immodesty does to the men we profess to care about.

Cello teacher Marie has grimaced over a particular high school who would not permit female students to change out of their A-line uniform skirt into sports trackpants for cello lesson and so they have to hike their skirt way up in order to get their cello between their knees.

What should a modest girl wear when playing cello?

I've viewed footage of world renown cellist Jacqueline du Pre', of actress Emily Watson who played du Pre in the biopic "Hilary and Jackie" (I do not recommend the movie), and of Keri Russell who plays fictional Lyla Novacek in the movie "August Rush". These concert cellists wore full skirted dresses, usually floor length but sometimes knee length, which allowed them to get their knees apart but still kept them covered.

We don't all wear an evening gown when we make music, so how do we handle our everyday situations?

Marie recommends that her female students wear dress trousers, and was stunned to learn that Frances doesn't own any. This is because her shape doesn't make this sort of trouser a comfortable option. She usually wears skirts, but she discovered that her petticoat created a problem. Her solution is to choose skirts made of non-cling, non-transparent fabric and to remove the petticoat before playing cello.

Whether you play cello or some other instrument, or make music with your voice, take a pause and consider: Is my appearance as well as my music to God's glory and man's benefit? If it isn't, what do I need to change?

May God bless you as you walk the narrow path.

*Names changed to protect privacy.

"You are beautiful; yes. That much I can see without you doing anything to convince me. But please do not entice me to notice you. Is it not enough that God endowed you with the beauty you possess? And that He has made you a gift to your present or future husband? Please help me to rejoice with him rather than tempt me to steal from him."
From "A Godly Man Comments on Modesty", Pure Life Ministries Free Resources

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