Updated: Dec 22, 2021
I like to teach in a very person-centred way, inviting my students to engage in self-reflection. I ensure I am guided by what my student’s want to gain from their lessons. What are there goals? What do they want to focus on? What music do they want to learn? etc
I have noticed 6 habits that my highly effective student's have in common.
1) They have a practice routine
Students who are able to make practice a habit, engaging in it for at least a few minutes most days a week to the point where practicing becomes hard NOT to do, make faster progress than those who have to choose to practice every time. Practicing 10 minutes 6 days a week is better than practicing 60 minutes one day a week.
2) They develop goals
Developing goals for and with students is part of the work of being a music teacher, but I’ve noticed that my most driven students often supplement our jointly generated goals with goals they’ve come up with on their own. For example, to perform a solo in public. There’s something about the self-generated goal that seems to be extra motivating.
3) They listen….
They listen attentively to their own playing, to my playing, and to our conversation. They are also listening outside of lessons- to other players, other perspectives, other ways of making music. All of this helps them grow
4) They talk…
They listen deeply; but they also know when it’s time to speak up- telling me they don’t’ understand a particular explanation, for example, or clueing me in to something I could do to help them learn. I especially love when students bring me questions. It means they are actively engaging with the material, and that kind of engagement leads to progress.
5) They get comfortable with discomfort
Learning is change, and change can be uncomfortable. In lessons, I am frequently asking a student to do things that are new and, at least at first, difficult or even scary. I like to challenge my student’s. Students who can learn to accept feeling uncomfortable, unsure, or incompetent have a major advantage, in that they are more willing to experiment and evolve.
6) They play with others
Playing with others is a fabulous chance for students to implement all the new techniques they are learning in lessons. When teaching flute lessons, I ensure each of my student’s have duets to learn so we can play together and they learn both the top and bottom parts. This is not only a valuable skill to learn but it adds an element of fun to the lesson. They also join a local orchestra or band and experience playing alongside other Flautists and other instruments.