As a music teacher, how often do you think about the difference you’re making in your students’ lives? I believe that the influence a teacher can have on a student is profound, not just in the content or skills being taught, but in the way we connect and interact with each other as human beings.
Sometimes lessons can be challenging. If a student didn’t practice – or even worse, doesn’t want to be there – it can be difficult to see beyond their corresponding behavior or attitudes to the valuable and beautiful person in front of us. But when we do see this – what a difference it can make! Not only can it affect the flow of the lesson, but also the life of the student. And this applies to motivated and positive students, too.
An Inspiring Teacher
I have three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 4. Recently, we all started taking harp lessons as a family. It’s a beautiful instrument – one that makes a lovely sound even for beginners. At today’s lesson, we received a lot more than harp instruction. Our sweet teacher, Annemieke, chatted with us about life, positive thinking, and encouraged us to enjoy the pace and practice level we’re comfortable with. As we departed, she gave each of us a warm and tender hug that helped us feel like beloved friends.
Now, hugs may not be your style, and that’s okay. You have your own ways of bringing a little more happiness into the world through your studio. These are the things Annemieke did that left us feeling uplifted, and more endeared not only to her, but to the instrument we’re studying.
How Are YOU Making a Difference?
Have you identified the things you do that make a positive difference (whether big or small) in the lives of your students? Not only in their musical skill, but in how they feel about themselves, and how they enjoy their lives as a whole? Is there a particular student you’ve seen blossom under your eyes? Or a connection you’ve made with a student that warmed your heart? Have you ever received a student’s gratitude for the difference you’ve made in their life?
If so, I’d love to hear about it! I think it’s important to remind ourselves and each other in the music teaching community of the influence we do have in the lives of the people we call our students. This awareness naturally inspires us to become better teachers. Taking time to write about it can also help you become more clear about why you’re teaching, and the ways you’d like to make a difference moving forward.
Share Your Story
I invite you to share your story now with the Music Teacher’s Helper community here in the blog comments, or on our Facebook page. Or if you prefer, share how your teacher made a difference in your life. I look forward to hearing about the ways our members are connecting with and inspiring students in both big and little ways.
Thank you for the great work that you do.
Warm wishes and happy teaching!
Brandon Pearce, CEO
Music Teacher’s Helper