July 2011

July 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Lessons are not necessarily restricted by time

I only sell lessons and not time. If someone works hard and deserves it he/she gets more time. So Ronald started to come twice a week for two hours. That was of course not two hours playing, but talking, drinking coffee, listening to music etc. etc. And teasing of course!

In his early twenties admittedly, there were many things related to his daily life he couldn't do. Write for instance. Or make a calculation with a number above 10 or even below. He was very adept in hiding it. But never in his life was he used to being taught as an equal and being taken seriously. He was in a special class were math was deemed not necessary and he learned things like how many days there were in a week and he was reminded frequently of the fact that he was stupid. 

But he wasn't I found out soon enough. So talking about music leads to forming an opinion about things he loves and that leads to writing it down. When he finally got his grade 8 his self esteem was completely restored and he began to see himself, 'I am actually quite smart'. 

Ronald is now very articulate about music. He understands style. Is able to write down his thoughts and express himself. He tells me what he thinks. It is my job to let him do the discovering and steer him in a certain direction. Correct him when I think he is wrong, but showing him why he might be wrong. It is not my job to tell him what to do, but how to do it, if he runs into difficulties.

Should a lesson be only about music? Yes, in general of course it is. But attention spans are different with different people and in order for some people to excel some other things are needed also.

I find I have in general little problems with getting the student's attention and that is perhaps because I am sitting behind my own piano and they are sitting behind theirs. I can also show what I mean. But a lesson is also an opportunity for dialogue and students tell you all sorts of things.

By always going with the student and then picking him/her up there and leading him gently to where you want him to go. Of course the student does not always realise how much he/she is learning, because in the end it is the achievement of the student and must come natural.

I can't teach!

No, I can't. I can only remove obstacles. It is my job to let the student discover and learning music. The correct way in the end always is self discovery also.

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