Our digital world doesn’t invite to patience. Yet, that’s one of the principal ingredient necessary to make a musician. Fortunately, in our 10 seconds environment, there are ways to curtail boredom, tediousness and quitting.
I have devised exercises through both my piano and my drum lessons that cater to a progressive approach of the instrument. But, and that’s an important element of my teaching, I’ve also learn to “read” the player in front of me. I want to gauge what people respond to. That part is as important as the data on the pages because I can create games that are tailored to the person sitting in front of me. Games are what drive the learning process these days. Everybody loves them. People don’t mind a challenge when it’s put into a playful form. I am also careful to make it something that’s immediately understandable and that pertains to the student technical or musical problem. That’s where I can beat the competition because those games come from years of experience. They help to pass on my knowledge in as painless of the way as possible. My goal is for the student to trust me to take them to their destination. If we have tensions in the lessons, it never helps.
So, it means that on top of the close to 800 pages I’ve written each for the piano and the drums, I can help the student cross a difficult passage by having a game ready to go when they’re struggling. And the great part for me is that games are fun to watch.
Every hobby is a journey, learning a new craft is not an easy task, but there’s no need to make it a road to sorrow either. It’s up to the teacher to understand what the student is up against and propose a solution. No cookie cutter shortcuts here, this is the very job of an educator.