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Showing posts from December, 2012

Approaching Music like an Athlete

Music is an intellectual pastime. Though any full-time musician will tell you that there is definitely a physical element, I don't think anyone would necessarily qualify it as a "sport." Now, we could go back and forth arguing about this, but it isn't really the point of this particular post. The point I wanted to make is that those that don't play an instrument already will immediately categorize music as a "study" rather than "training."

I think this lack of awareness of the physicality of instrument playing is the cause of 99% of all frustrations for beginning students regardless of age. As soon as they know how to do something they should be able to do that something, right? Well, if you were memorizing history dates, I would say yes. But playing an instrument requires muscles.

Yes, muscles. Those poor finger and back muscles are so easy to forget. Playing an exercise once on your instrument is like running once around a track and sa…

Understanding the Student's Goals

The goals of a music student are something that are easily looked over and often a source of frustration for teachers. Something to keep in mind is that the music teacher is someone already invested in music. He or she obviously values their instrument enough to not only have kept playing over the years but also to now be teaching others how to play. Even if teaching isn't a dream job, they wouldn't be doing it at all if they thought it was a complete waste of time.

This kind of passion is something that every teacher wants to pass on to their students. The "perfect student" is the one that regularly practices exactly what you told them to practice and is excited to learn more. No muss, no fuss.

But the "perfect student" is few and far between. I think this is where the teacher must take a step back in order to figure out what the student wants to accomplish. Are the parents putting their child through music lessons to score scholarships and create the…