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? [···]