Here’s what’s in today’s update:
•A review gem from Kasia
•A story and strategy from an SoW student/parent
•Recital spots limited
I had a great chat with Kasia about a type of situation that she has encountered elsewhere, namely that a parent expresses some level of frustration when their child’s teacher comes out to speak with them at the end of a lesson – a few minutes early. I don’t think we encounter this situation here, but for any parent that expresses this, wherever you may teach, I encourage you to tell them that this is the most important part of the lesson; the part where you teach them what their responsibilities are with respect to practicing and accountability for the coming week. Parent education is essential to student success!
This past Sunday I went to a student’s birthday party, and he rushed over to show me a 6 week old SoW card, and exclaimed: “It’s the second one!!”. He was over the moon about it six weeks later. Think about that every week when you consider the impact you can have on a student’s feeling about music and practicing. You can also make a big deal about it the following week, by asking if they got it, and re-iterating how pleased you were about it.
At the same student’s party, I was chatting with the mother, and she told me a brilliant approach to dealing with a drop off in her son’s practicing. He had recently lost a couple of teeth, so she wrote him a note ‘from’ the Tooth Fairy, in which she (the Tooth Fairy) said how much she loved hearing the boy play. Sure enough, he picked up and started practicing more regularly with less pushing from the parents. Teaching and encouraging learning can be a bit of psychological warfare, if only peaceful propaganda. I encourage you to think about creative ways to motivate your students, and work with your and educate parents when it comes to developing and maintaining practice habits.
Our recital spots are very limited now, and I will likely put up a wait-list for an early morning time. If you have students that are still interested, please be sure to get them down as soon as possible. Thanks!