Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.--Victor Hugo
Friday, November 30, 2007
From Teacher to Teacher
There are ways to keep music joyful for your students... and that is to keep it joyful for you. The book Creativity, by Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi writes a section which defines "enjoyment" as an "experience called flow... an almost automatic, effortless, yet highly focused state of consciousness." We can can put Csikszentimihalyi's ideas to use by showing our students ways to set small goals for their every day practice as well as clearly explaining what is expected each week for technique and new and old repertoire. Its important to let students see your honest reaction to their playing, singing, etc. It helps them to improve, but should be done right away while the moment is fresh, so problems are understood and praise is appreciated.
I stopped teaching a few months before I had Noah and have not yet started again. I plan to begin again soon. After teaching piano for twelve years and voice for five, I tried to put Csikszentimihalyi's ideas into practice and let me tell you it pays off. Constructive criticism is very useful as well. Done in an encouraging manner it can be very much appreciated for the true music lover.
When a teacher keeps the joy in every lesson, every critique, every practice... the joy is transferred to the student.