My Life as a Sometimes Music Teacher

My studio is well underway and has been officially in existence for over six months. I had always thrown around the idea of starting a studio, but had some anxiety (have I mentioned yet that change and I don’t typically get along all too well?) surrounding “what-ifs”. Last fall I decided to stop fearing what wasn’t and start embracing what is, and haven’t looked back!

Here are some items I’ve learned through this new adventure:

#1) I thought I would be the one teaching and not learning, but I have discovered I too have been learning a great deal.

What I hadn’t anticipated was what a wide range of abilities I would be tasked with teaching from the get-go. I had students who had some musical background and could sight-read and match pitch well; at the same time, I had students who were approaching singing needing more help with the basics. I learned it’s important to help students recognize the progress they’re making – whether it’s singing an entire song a cappella in tune, or finding proper placement of a vowel on the first try.

#2) Everyone is on their own journey and it’s important to respect and embrace that.

Maybe I think too much or something, but I’ve noticed through teaching (especially through teaching people in different life stages), that it’s very important to go at their pace for learning and growing (with a little nudge here and there when needed Smile). Similar to how I’ve found running be such a personal experience, making music can be a very personal and meaningful journey. I feel so blessed every lesson I teach that I have been selected to accompany my student on their journey.

#3) Everyone is different and has different learning styles – it’s important as a teacher to figure out (and quickly might I add) what their style is and embrace it.

I learned in college that every teacher should be prepared to present any given topic in seven different ways to accommodate everyone’s different learning styles. This is probably the thing I use in lessons more than everything else I learned. For students who have the technical background, I can use technical terms to help them achieve the correct placement, for example. For those who don’t have the technical background, I have to explain things in a way that is meaningful to them.

All this after only six months – I can’t wait to see what the next six years bring!

Happy making music, all! Note

Any other teachers out there? If so, what lessons have you learned in your teaching experience?

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3 thoughts on “My Life as a Sometimes Music Teacher

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I’ve learned SO much since I’ve been teaching…and by far, the biggest lesson I’ve had to learn is how to not only know how to teach the basic information students need to know in order to begin playing piano, but to realize that they’re all completely individual and need to be approached in a different way. It’s not easy, but so worth it when you find that piece of music or book or approach that they seem to really relate to and enjoy!

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