success

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What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

– Lennon & McCartney

You can’t do it alone.  If you look around you, all the things in your life, from furniture, to electronics to clothes to even books and works of art – none of it was done by a lone genius.

I used to be seduced by this story of the lone creative genius toiling away in an isolated studio somewhere and emerging two years later with…the greatest thing ever!  But, the work of all the famous authors, painters, inventors, teachers, musicians – they all needed a team to make it’s way to us. Van Gogh would not be known without his brother’s financial support and the art dealers and the scholars and the museums who have all promoted his work.   

For years, I tried to do it alone and it was painful, hard, lonely. But, there is a better way and that way is called a mastermind group which I am certain has the potential to change your life.  

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By Robin Steinweg

Celebrate student milestones

Celebrate student milestones

Why wait until a holiday to “turn on the party?” We teachers can find many reasons and ways to celebrate student milestones.

Parents may not understand what a big deal it is to graduate to the next level of books, for instance. We can help  them get it by making a bit of fuss over it ourselves. And if they still don’t get it, at least someone has admired the student’s success.

18 Reasons to Celebrate Student Milestones—they:

  • arrived at the staples—the midway point!—of their book
  • passed a unit
  • completed their level and graduated to the next—huzzah!
  • practiced one hundred days in a row
  • practiced five days this past week
  • remembered to trim their nails
  • memorized a song
  • accomplished all their weekly practice goals
  • performed in public for the first time
  • played in their first recital
  • played in any recital
  • mastered certain number of scales (pentascales, octaves or more)
  • conquered a beast of a piece of music
  • got their first playing gig
  • used a metronome successfully
  • memorized names of lines and spaces
  • remembered dynamics
  • they graduated from high school and are going off to college
Celebrate a Student Milestone

Celebrate a Student Milestone

18 Ways to Celebrate Student Milestones:

  • pull out a kazoo and trumpet a fanfare
  • tiny milestone—press Staples’ Easy Button
  • the midway point in their book—offer a candy or let them make a shot at a Nerf basketball hoop
  • publish their name (and photo?) on your website
  • include their name (and photo?) in your studio newsletter
  • a congratulatory certificate
  • snail-mail a card to their home, addressed to them
  • notify Piano Explorer Magazine about their completion of 100 consecutive days of practice (or 200+)
  • post their names on a chart in your studio
  • play a CD of a regal/fanfarish song as they enter the room
  • let them wear a costume crown during their lesson
  • give a blue ribbon
  • create a banner/ribbon and add iron-on badges for accomplishments (like boy-and-girl scouts)
  • let them choose from prizes you’ve collected (dollar store items, coupons for ice cream or burger, sheet music, manuscript paper or books, CD, iTunes coupon…)
  • let them play music games on the computer
  • bake their favorite cookies

    Student milestone? Bake cookies!

    Student milestone? Bake cookies!

  • for a BIG accomplishment , tickets to a concert or a huge fake-book
  • plan a senior recital just for your graduate(s)

More ideas

When we celebrate student milestones, it can generate excitement and motivation. How do you celebrate, and for what occasions?

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Have you hunted any wabbits recently?

When we voice teacher’s hear a singer we immediately begin to process the voice – is the sound effortless, does it move you in some way, is their too much tongue involvement or jaw tension, etc. How often do you put your mind at rest and just listen?

As teachers of voice we spend our time living in the critique mode- seeking out the flaws and embarking upon repairing and reprogramming how those sounds are made to make them more effortless, powerful, efficient, expressive. We live in the “what is wrong” and “how do we fix it” mode.

I challenge you as you embark on your fall teaching to step out of that critique box and into the audience mode. Marvel that even your weakest singers have improved upon something. Hunt for the wabbit! Share that success with the singer! If they are family dependent share that with their families too! Drop them a note or send them an email or stop everything and run out to their car as they pick up their singer and tell them how excited you are about this progress! [···]

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