I’m in a state of panic. And not quite sure why some students are not experiencing the same.
I have to look back on the last few months and question what I could have done better:
- was too much lesson time spent on theory? prepping for the theory exam can mean the urgent takes over the important.
- did I give adequate practice instructions and strategies? there were likely days when I just told the student (s) to go home and learn the notes better.
- did I put out enough in the lesson?
- could I have been more inspiring?
- should I have been in closer touch with the parents in some cases?
In the case of the 20-year-old who still thinks he can cram a piano exam, and who misses more lessons than he attends, I refuse to take any responsibility. And some students will do well. They are focused, they practice consistently, they want to do well. But the others …
We are not teaching solely to pump out stars who get stellar exam marks. At least, we shouldn’t be.
We are shaping lives. Long-term. Building a relationship between teacher and student, and building a relationship between student and music and, by extension, the whole world of the arts.
So if I spend too much time achieving the light-bulb-moment when they get the sounds of the different cadences, at the expense of nailing the fingering for C# Minor Melodic, so be it.
If I’m on a roll and I see a skill emerging and solidifying, I don’t care if one or two arpeggios are insecure.
If they are genuinely interested and engaged in my tangent about a composer and his influence, I’m going to keep talking.
I’ll do what I can to ensure adequate preparation for exams. Otherwise, let the real education continue …