What is patience?

Patience is the sate of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way: or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the description and picture – (

Patience, engraving by Hans Sebald Beham, 1540



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I am told I am a good teacher, and I have been complimented on my patience level, but the truth is, I am naturally very, very impatient. This is something I work hard at cultivating. Sometimes during a lesson, I will have a look of calm expression on my face, but inside I am screaming, “Wrong finger!!! Why can’t you get this right??!!” and then I breathe deep and say softly, “That was great. Now try it like this…”

Patience must be the most difficult trait to develop during the beginning stages of teaching. In group psychology, there is a theory that when you get into any social situation (work, school, party, relationship, etc.) you will instinctually take on the same role you played in your family as a child. So if you were the oldest of 8 kids and your mom’s right-hand caregiver, then you probably are already conditioned to be incredibly patient. But if you grew up in a small family, and your primary form of communication was shouting and name-calling, you may have to work on this a bit. [···]

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Has a student ever had a difficult time mastering a piece?  Have you ever been at a loss as to how to organize a lesson and point students in a forward position toward successful goals accomplished in their practice times.  The following list is not exhaustive, but will hopefully be helpful to all of you as we strive to help our students develop a strong, well-rounded musical education.  This list is based only on the practice of one piece.  Theory, ear-training, sight-reading, application of duets, and much more are different subjects to be addressed at different times.  🙂 [···]

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