When it comes to teaching music, knowing your instrument is just the beginning. There are many external factors that have an impact on whether or not your students are able to learn. Here are a few tips beyond teaching music that will make help make your job more effective!
Playing music is a mental, physical as well as an emotional activity. If students are not calm and focussed, they won’t be able to play well. You must always be the listening ear, and often the counselor, for your students, whether they want to talk about something inside the classroom or outside. Listen to how their week was, what they achieved and what problems they faced during the week. Once they have spilled what is in their head, it will be easier for them to learn what you have to teach.
Your students may often believe they have no time to practice. It is important for you to be supportive and understanding of how busy their schedule is. This will make them more open to listening to you when you provide solutions on how they can manage their time. Guide them in how they can divide their practice material into the time they have available to get the best results.
Even though you tell the students how they can improve, it is not enough to help them understand how they are doing. Constantly talk to them beyond the time that you are teaching them. Keep them updated on how they are progressing and what their long term goals are. For the students who are still in school, discuss the same with their parents and keep them updated on their child’s progress. You can also give them tips on how to stay involved.
The easiest way to get your student in investing time and effort into practice is by making them want to do it. You can record them playing often and eventually show them their journey. This will help them realise how far they have come. You can perform for them in class. This will help them appreciate the effort that they need to put into learning. Expose them to a lot of music. You can even give them assignments to listen to music and hold discussions on it.
5. Be Relatable
Constantly share your experiences with your students. Tell them stories of the problems you faced when you were learning. Perform pieces for them that you are currently working on and whether they understand the details or not, try and explain the areas you are having problems with. If they are able to relate to you, they will value your advice a little bit more.