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!
In “At the Movies” I link to TV shows and/or movies that have music in them…often harps (of course!). These might (or might not) be resources you’d like to add to your lending library or assign for students to find as some fun, away-from-the-instrument homework!
Today's installment features an episode of Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place. In the episode "Zeke Finds Out," Harper wears a keyboard/not sweater and harp earrings. There's a pretty good picture over on Just Jared Jr.
What have you been enjoying on the tube lately? Let me know in the comments!
Click the category "At the Movies" for similar posts!
Not too long ago, I started requiring most students to pay by the month rather than lesson-by-lesson. Students and parents were very supportive for the most part. I let them know the month before via MailChimp and laid out the new policy. It's now in the studio policy that student and parent (if applicable) sign. Payment for the month is due at the first lesson of the month. If they know that they won't be at a lesson, then the payment is adjusted. Similarly, if they notify me 24 hours in advance that they won't be at a lesson, then they get credit toward the next month. The student and/or parent signs a studio policy agreeing to this.
Why did I decide to go to monthly payments? The majority of my lessons take place out of a music store and I pay rent for studio space per half hour. Students weren't showing up or were notifying me after I had already paid the fee. With this plan, I know ahead of time when to schedule studio space. Turns out, this was a great move for my studio! It's also a good way to keep me accountable.
I got a receipt book and also have a spreadsheet with payment/role, then I can see who has paid for what.
Now, I think I've used this method for less than a year, so I'm not a big expert on it, but so far it seems to be working out well! It can be a little difficult to enforce, and I'm not perfect, but for the most part it seems to be a really good plan. It also makes for less checks to record and less lesson time spent on taking care of the business side. A plus side for the parents is that they only have to think about the payment once a month.
I touched on this above, but if a lesson is cancelled after the student has paid (illness, etc.), then you can just add a lesson's credit to the following month. It can also keep you motivated to schedule ahead and keep your scheduled lessons.
These are just some musings on what's been working for me. What about you? Do you charge per lesson or by the month or term? Let me know in the comments!
Happy New Year! Isn't it hard to believe that when this post goes up, it will be 2016?!
A lot of times, the New Year gets people thinking about resolutions or goals they want to set. Soooo, below are links to some posts from the interwebs that might inspire you!
"Thoughts On Monthly Goal Setting" from Elise Blaha Cripe. It's fun how she put each month on a picture too!
Jon Acuff's post, "It's only too late if you're dead" The post has some inspiring info whether or not you decide to sign up for the challenge.
Greatist's points for "The Science-Backed Way To Keep Any New Year's Resolution"
"3 Ways to Get Ready for 2016 (Resolutions Not Included)" from The College Prepster
People are different, so something might work well for one person that doesn't for another. Similarly, something might not work for you now that fits your place in life at another time. Hope you find the links above helpful!
If you want to see even more, here's another roundup of Posts About Business and Dreams on my old blog site.
Do you set New Year's resolutions and/or goals? What are they?
P.S. Have you seen Harp Column's roundup of Best 2015 #PracticalHarpist tags?
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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