If you’ve ever had the pleasure of learning music, you may have noticed the prevalence of the phrase “one last time”. You may also be familiar with it’s other forms - “once more” or “one more time” or simply “last one”
This phrase is used liberally amongst myself and my colleagues, sometimes tumbling out of our mouths in reference to the same music ten times in a row.
I used to find “one last time” equal parts irritating and fascinating. If we were going to play/practice/deconstruct that specific bit “one last time” we should have stopped 20 repeats ago.
What I didn’t know then, and what I’ve learned since is that “one last time” doesn’t actually mean “one last time”. Instead it translates to “ok, we’ve repeated this little bit so many times now, PLEASE OH PLEASE play it correctly this time so we won’t have to do it again”
“One last time” is a cry of hope, it’s a cry of frustration and of patience, but most of all it’s a right of passage for both teacher and student. When the student becomes the master it is their privilege to pass “one last time” onto the next generation.