“See how far you can learn by next lesson.”

“Perhaps you might be ready to take a music exam soon.”

“Practice when you can.”

Vagueness is the dark cloud that can potentially hang over music lessons. Indeed, I’ve been guilty of it in my own music lessons. Maybe it’s my British reserve that has made me concerned not to appear too pushy with my music students. But herein lies the serious danger of inadvertently demotivating a student.

The lesson was brought home to me when some time ago, a music adult student commented that she was so  [···]

photo by: John-Morgan
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Stepping Stones







What’s a game of football without goals?

Mmm! Lots of keen sports people randomly running around for 90 minutes?!

And yet, how easy it would be for our music students to be drifting along aimlessly without any real direction. And maybe even us too as their teacher!

So what is the secret to motivating our pupils (and ourselves)?

I’m sure you would agree that we need to set a combination of achievable short and long term goals. Goals give students and teachers focus. Short term goals act as “stepping stones” to the bigger ones.

And the best goals of all? Those are the goals set by the student. When they take “ownership” of their goals, they really do make great progress!

So this month, consider four small goals to encourage pupils to set. Hopefully, the bigger goals will naturally follow…

1st Goal – Let them choose the pieces (songs)

Pupils are far more motivated if they’ve chosen the song. Here’s an old trick of mine. If they are preparing for a concert or an exam, why not give them a  [···]

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I love the start of a New Year. Perhaps it is because in the Southern Hemisphere we have our summer holidays over the Christmas/New Year period, so by the time the New Year rolls around we have already had a month of rest and have another month of holidays before school begins again. I always use the start of the New Year to reflect on my studio and teaching habits; making decisions on which parts of my teaching practice could be enhanced, and which areas might need to be revised.  [···]

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