Fun is a very important element of music. It is easy to remember, easy to pass on and easy to talk about. But how many people talk about it? How many do some books about it?
Fun is in doing. Absolutely. And feeling. Yes. And understanding. Maybe. And studying. Whaaat?! Studying? You lost me.
It is fun to try to understand something. Our brain is hard wired that way. Want an example? All areas of knowledge have been expanded to incredible complexities because someone had found the fun in understanding the mating habits of the African fire ant, for instance. Or the correct shape of a dart in a world championship competition. Someone had fun thinking about that.
So, that’s the first thing I try to get from my student. What is their idea of fun? Are they happy-go-lucky people? Bookworms? Brawlers? Visual learners? Etc… I have deployed all sorts of observation tools to gauge the player in as little time as possible.
Then, I adjust everything. From my way of speaking to how I will demonstrate the exercises. From the very musical examples we will play along with, to the way I design their progression (nobody grows the same). I do it because I estimate that this is the basic of the job of a teacher: getting to understand the student.
When the lesson is over, the student gets to go home with some assignments. Usually enough to last him a week.
And they do it. The very large majority does it. And the large majority of people come back for a second lesson. Because fun has a very strong power. People feed on it. Even if those very people will put up some incredible obstacles to stop studying music.