Teacher Jerry Kupchynsky’s sharp-spoken, foot-pounding, never-praising music lessons and orchestra rehearsals reduced many students to tears. Yet, when Mr. K passed away, more than 100 students returned to play a memorial concert for him. Though his lessons were music, he taught three generations of students about resilience, character development, the power of a can-do attitude, and achieving excellence in life by demanding nothing less than excellence from students. Co-written by journalist Joanne Lipman and Chicago Symphony violinist Melanie Kupchynsky, Jerry’s daughter, this book makes you question today’s teaching methods: Is failure ever acceptable? Is self-discipline or support more important? Is praise a tool or a detriment to progress? How and why does music study prepare children for success?
Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations, by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky, www.stringsattachedbook.com.