What? Something more important to a music teacher than practice? Yes! Do you know what it is? A good attitude.
Of course, I love it when students both have a good attitude and practice, but if I have to choose one, it is the good attitude. Why? Have you ever had a student who is very capable, but just wastes lesson time and will not do what he or she is instructed to do? Frustrating, right? Wouldn't you rather have a student who might not be prepared but is receptive to correction? I would! Students are very busy, and even the students who regularly practice will probably have weeks when they won't be able to practice as much as usual.
Here's a post over on my old blog on dealing with young students who don't listen. What else can you do to help your students with their attitudes? One thing is to offer some sort of incentive, like this. If your student is a child, let his or her parents know when he or she has a really great attitude in the lesson....encourage the parent to do something special with the child to celebrate! Finally, remember to thank parents who insist that their children are respectful. It's a tough job to be a good parent, and I'm sure it means a lot to hear (true) affirming words.
Does this mean that students don't need to practice? No. It just means that a good attitude and respect are more important to me as a teacher, and as a person, than practice.
How do you encourage students to have a good attitude? Please share in the comments!
After our Fall Performance Party, I decided to make some little notes to hand out to each student who participated. They are imperfectly handmade, but they got a much more appreciative reception than I expected! One student put hers in her harp notebook in a way that she could flip it up to see both sides, another planned to attach hers in her notebook, and one very young student's grandmother requested that it go in her harp book! I just wrote a short little note on each one and tried to make it specific to each student. You can include something specific that the student did well, a compliment on a particular piece they performed, etc. It was really cool to see how the students seemed to value these little notes!
Watercolors - I just used the little kid kind....so fun!
Paintbrush - Again, little kid kind. I think this was the paintbrush that came with these olddd watercolors
Wax - Mine was some candles drippings, but you could also just use a candle. I tried with a white crayon first, but the wax seemed to work better.
Scissors - If you need to cut your paper down.
Watercolor paper - You could also probably use regular cardstock.
Water - To make the watercolors work!
First, cut your paper down to size (if necessary). And yes, these are different scissors than in the supplies picture. :)
Write your message in wax on the paper. I chose to write "BRAVO!"
Paint over your wax writing with watercolor(s). I think in this picture I had used white crayon rather than the candle wax, but you get the idea.
If you're like me and got watercolor on the back of some of them, then just paint a border on the edge too! You can paint a regular border, splatter paint, or drip the watercolor straight from the container. Or a combination!
Write your notes on the backs and distribute!
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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