Private Lesson No-No’s

Here are a few excerpts from this site where students communicate their thoughts about teachers and lessons:

What this student wants from a teacher:
“…be organized, consistent, give specific feedback that a student can work on, be prepared in the sense that if you are about to assign a new piece you are familiar with the technical challenges and have a plan of action ahead of time that the student can work on.”

A complaint this student has about some teachers:
“Teachers who never actually mention a lot of the students’ mistakes. For example, intonation…gone to the wind. In scales, my old teacher would really grill me on my notes, but my current one? Heh. I might as well have been playing open strings for all that he notices. Which I suppose leads to another point, teachers who don’t care. I could not practice at all, and he won’t speak a word-not that I don’t practice. I can bomb an audition, screw up a piece, and all I get is silence. Teachers who seem to think that everything is A-Okay not only annoy me, but I’m beginning to believe that he hates me.”

Another complaint about some teachers:
“…teachers that push students way too fast. It’s useless to move on at such blinding speeds that essential skills become only half-developed and barely mastered.”

These are all things that I recognize, at least sub-consciously, but it’s hard to not fall into such traps in teaching. I’m still looking for that perfect balance of being encouraging and fun while maintaining high standards and expecting each student to strive to reach their full potential.

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