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Don’t Expect Unreasonably from the Music Teacher for Your Child

If you really take time to look around, it is difficult not to notice today’s technological development. It is vital these days to be well-versed and diversified in our knowledge of technology. And some parents naturally want to find the most technologically proficient music teacher or music school to help their child in training.

Nonetheless, some parents enrol their children in music lessons and do not realize that before their child can perform successful solo concerts (even in the presence of close relatives and friends), they must spend a lot of time practicing first.

What do these parents want, then? Some want their child to play as well as their neighbour’s child in just a few months’ time, when in fact, the neighbour child has been studying for the last two years. It’s just not possible. It is almost like demanding that the music teacher, who has just shown the young student how to correctly position his fingers on the instrument, ask the student to write complete musical compositions soon after the beginning of academic year.

Here’s the fact: The best music teacher in the world can not make your child learn finger technique and smooth legato, and also teach a full course in the theory of music within half a year of training. It is impossible to teach a child to express himself not only with hands, but also with his soul, which dictates the mood of a piece of music, within such a short period of time.

All parents are different, of course. There are also some who think that the study of music theory is just as important as the lessons regarding how to play the instrument. Certainly, the elementary theory of music is very important for the young musician, but if lessons in this subject are taught by a competent music teacher, there’s no need to meet with the child more than once a week, under the condition that the homework is completed and done well.  

I have also met parents who enrolled their children in music school to help them overcome a psychological barrier, such as a fear of strangers, or to feel more confident in the company of their pals.

In fact, here is how one of my colleagues handled this kind of situation expertly. He found and used methods and styles of work with which the child had no complexes. Thus, he was able to communicate with the student. Also, this music teacher found ways to focus on the child’s regular, other interests, which in turn provoked otherwise introverted, quiet children to stimulate their desire to ask more and more questions during lessons. This music teacher “killed two birds with one stone.” He promoted interest in the instrument and music in general and expanded the child’s limits of dialogue. All this prepared the student for his performances. Soon, this child wanted to be first in line to play for the public – either in solo, in an ensemble, an orchestra, or singing in the chorus.

It’s not important that his own parents or friends happened to be the young musician’s first listeners; it’s important that he felt comfortable playing in front of others and was heard at a concert! And the more often he performed (especially solo), the more confident and more courageous he became.

There were also situations in which parents, without asking for their children’s opinion, brought them to school only because they envied the fact that children in other families played music, and they wanted to “keep up with the Joneses.” Needless to say, these children quit music classes earlier than others.


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