Archives for 29 Sep,2011

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Today – a list of questions to ask ourselves

As private studio teachers, what are we here to do?  Of all people, we surely know how hard it is to make a living in the arts.  What are our expectations of our students’ future?  Do we tie our students’ success into our perception of our own worth?  Do we only teach the students we see as “talented” or will we teach anyone who has the desire to learn?

Future expectations:  What is our goal for our students?  Is not the student who truly desires to improve and works their tail off to gain incremental ground in understanding as important as the student who shows the potential (and the will) to have a career in music?  What about our avocational students who are in lessons just because they enjoy the time taken each week for music, even if it is the only time they touch their instrument?  Should we not take the time to enjoy their time?

Talent: What do we do when we find a “talented” student who just refuses to work?  How do we respond?  Do we get frustrated with them?  How do we help to encourage them to practice/improve?  Is this even our job – to identify and encourage talent?  Even with a “talented” student, what criteria do we have that helps us to identify that talent?  What right do we have, ethically, to tell a student that they have talent, versus not encouraging another student to such a high degree? [···]

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We’re pleased to announce two awesome new feature this month, and several small bug fixes. One of these has been our most requested feature ever since we launched our Feedback site. So thank you for your feedback and we hope you enjoy it.

Block Holidays and Other Events on Your Calendar

You now have the ability to block holidays and other events on your calendar! When you block a day, it will prevent any events from being created on that day, so you no longer have to worry about accidentally scheduling lessons over holidays or when you’re on vacation. To setup Blocked Dates, simply click the red “block” icon in the corner of any day on the calendar. Click it again to unblock. Or go to Calendar -> Blocked Dates to setup a recurring blocked date.

Foreign Language Support

We’re also pleased to announce that Music Teacher’s Helper is now available in Portuguese! Select your language from the top-right corner of the page before logging in, or from the Settings page after you login.

We’re now ready to begin translation into other languages as  [···]

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Last month, I began by discussing Habit Number One: Be Proactive. Paying attention to how I perceived my studio helped me focus on the positive aspects of my teaching and kept me looking for solutions to my teaching problems instead of giving in to complaining and being resigned to the status quo.

The second habit of highly effective music teachers may well be the very most important. It has led me to a partial transformation of my studio. This habit is: Begin with the End in Mind.

Here’s a story, demonstrating what happens when I did anything but begin with the end in mind. I was in my first weeks of my first pedagogy class, and a family member asked if I’d teach her three children. I was beyond excited. It didn’t matter that the family had only a small keyboard without 88 keys, (and those keys weren’t even full-size), touch sensitivity, or a pedal.  [···]

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