It's probably safe to say that most of us would like to be able to master an instrument instantaneously; however, that's not too likely to happen. Here are 5 things to think about when considering you or your student's musical progress.
1. It's ok to take time on the basics. You don't have to whiz through your book.
2. Practice is important. How and how much you or your student practices affects the speed of progress on you or your student's instrument. While I do think that behavior and attitude are more important than practice, practice is a major contributor to you or your student's progress. That being said, even if you or your student practice an exercise, it still might require more than one week. And that's ok. (See #1)
3. Make sure you bring your materials to lessons. If you have a student, help him or her to remember the materials. While we can still do educational activities if the student forgets his or her materials, this will likely affect the student's progress, particularly through the technique book/repertoire. Lesson notebooks are also important to help the teacher and student remember what was covered at the last lesson (though the student should be looking at this during the week as well!).
4. Behavior should be at its best (again, check this post, linked above). We all have "off" days, but if a student is frequently misbehaving, the teacher must spend less time on teaching music because of the need to address behavior issues. Similarly, a student with a receptive and respectful attitude will likely benefit more from instruction than a student who will not listen to correction. A good attitude makes teaching much more enjoyable as well. :)
5. Remember that music should be fun (even though most of us do have our days when we don't like it or exercises that we don't particularly love)! It's not a race and it's ok if you or your student doesn't sail through book after book. It might even be better to take it slow and steady. Most people have obligations other than music, so they might not get to practice all the time. Remember, what's more important than practice is a good attitude!
How do you feel about the speed of students' progress (as a teacher, parent, student, etc.)? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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