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Showing posts from January, 2013

Music Therapy in the Private Lesson Environment

The process of learning or participating in music is therapeutic by nature. It has been scientifically proven that musicians develop certain areas of their brain that non-musicians do not (see works by Oliver Sacks). Even those who do not play an instrument will use music to affect their mood. For example, people will listen to different types of music in order to become excited versus trying to relax.

One of the most interesting things about music is that it stimulates both the logic/math (tempo, rhythm) and the creative/artistic (expressing yourself, creating beautiful tone) parts of your brain at the same time. This means that music is not a pastime that you can just partially focus on if you wish to be successful at it.

The idea behind the field of Music Therapy is to use music to work on a goal that may not necessarily be musical. Due to the fact that playing an instrument requires such a wide range of skills, a music therapy patient may work on anything from muscle development to …

Teachers Need Encouragement Too!

The emotion that goes into private teaching has to be one of the hardest things to learn how to deal with. It's different from a school teacher who already knows from the get-go that they have students for a set amount of time. A private music teacher should, ideally, be taking students with the intention of teaching them over a long period of time.

So much focus tends to fall on the student's struggles. How is the student progressing? What are the student's goals? Should the student be with this teacher or that teacher? Very rarely is the teacher as a person even considered in all of this. They are simply "the teacher."

Yes, it is the teacher's job to be "the teacher" rather than "a friend." But private teaching is not an easy task. It requires an enormous amount of energy to try and keep a student motivated when the student is so clearly losing interest. Being connected enough to share a laugh with a student but at the same time being abl…