Posted by sam on July 27, 2002 at 00:28:09:
In Reply to: Your First Time Teaching Lessons posted by MG on July 23, 2002 at 22:13:24:
When you are teaching a certain concept ask the student to repeat what you said in their own words so that you can make sure they get it. I remember not wanting to look dumb when I was a student so when my teacher would explain something and say, "got it?" I would say "yes" and 50% of the time I had no idea what he/she was talking about.
Also, when students say "I don't get it" or "It's too hard", ask them why they don't get it or why it is too hard and don't let them get away with that dumb excuse. That is just laziness. If they ask you what a fingering is or what a note is called, make them figure it out. They are proud to be able to figure something out. Ask them why certain notes are flat or why they are first finger instead of second finger. That, to me, is teaching. A lot of times kids learn by rote and really have no idea how to talk about what they are doing. They are just playing fingerings and have no idea why things are the way they are.
It takes a while to get to know your students and that's okay. Treat them like people that have feelings. Listen to them if they want to talk about things that may be bothering them that have nothing to do with music. That is very important. If the students feel as if they can talk to you they will trust you and your time teaching them will be very rewarding for both of you. Not all kids are going to grow up to be stellar musicians. When the students are young it's not always about teaching as if you are at a conservatory. Sometimes you teach kids how to be decent human beings and you don't teach them about music all the time. Some kids, however, will be able to deal with a more rigid music lesson. It will be a learning experience for both you and your students