We do it all the time as private music teachers who teach lessons at student’s homes. “Did you practice this week?” It’s a bad habit that we teachers are all guilty of. There is no good or bad about it, get the question out of your pre-music lesson conversation. We always teach our teachers to remove this question before conducting private piano lessons and here’s 4 reasons why.
Music Teachers Know If You Practiced
If a student did practice, we are going to know about it. Practicing is easily detectable by even the newest teacher. Even if a student in a lesson practiced incorrectly, we know. We can hear effort. In fact, incorrect practice is some of the greatest to learn on.
The best lessons come from mistakes and the simple mistakes that a piano or violin student might make in preparing for their lesson all week can be a welcome one.
Nothing Good Can Come From The Question
If you ask the question and your student says yes, see #1, you would have known anyway. If they answer no, you’ve just started the lesson off on a negative note. Lets start a new question to ask, “How was your week?” or “Did you do anything fun this week?” or even better, “Did you listen or hear any great music this week?”
It’s kind of the same feeling adults get when their personal trainer asks them if they ate the right kind of food since the last workout. No one wants to turn in work they haven’t done or attend an event they aren’t prepared for. Instead you can teach a music student that their in-home lesson will always be a pleasant experience, therefore you can continue the lesson longer and have a better chance to motivate the student.
Don’t Be Negative
The effects of starting a lesson off feeling negative is a Music Teacher and Music Student that expect less. Nobody wants that. Especially since it’s not a teacher’s job to only teach a lesson where the student practices. It’s a teacher’s job to inspire.
Think about when you were inspired by a teacher. How special was that moment. If you have had a positive experience with a teacher you rarely forget it. Give you and your student more opportunities to have those moments.
Look Forward To Teaching, All Kinds
The best teaching comes out of a teacher when you embrace a situation that was not expected. I want to explode when teachers wait for the “kind of lesson” they want to give.
Rule 1, in teaching private lessons, throw that out the window and expect more from yourself.
Here are 4 awesome things to teach when your student hasn’t and yet another reason not to ask the question.
1. Teach a student how to practice. There is an art to it, share that art!
2. Sight reading, not the punishment kind, the short and educational kind.
3. Composition. Write a song. Better yet, use the rhythm and notes from the piece(s) your student might not have practiced.
4. Repertoire, perhaps the most overlooked aspect of private lessons in the beginner to intermediate level of private music students.
Sometimes Music Teachers Miss The Small Stuff
So “The Question” is really just a little thing but it can make a difference. There are plenty of students who survive the question and prosper. But the more we teach at Lessons In Your Home, the more we think about how to make every student prosper. The golden rule of teaching is to make teach every student as they need to be taught. If music teachers follow that rule you’ll always ask they will always ask right questions. Contact us today to know more.