Getting personal

When a student enters my room, I don’t have any preconceived ideas. I look at her in the moment. I have only the faintest idea of what to expect. She could have had a great week of practice and be ready to tear it up on the piano. But she might have struggled to find a minute to sit down in front of the keyboards due to, well, life. I never know. But I am convinced that my role as a teacher is to help. That help usually takes the form of a conversation. The topics can run wide. I touched on that in the previous post, if you want to read it.

The subject of this blog is that I do not do cookie cutter lessons. Each of my student has a different set of assignments and everyone has a different lessons, because everyone has different needs, moods, life, etc. My purpose is to be sensitive to said needs and moods. But I also admit that it is not easy to do. I need to have a clear mind and a healthy curiosity to welcome whatever the student is bringing to the lesson. Then I have to think of an appropriate response, then how to convey it so that I’ll be heard. That’s where the heart goes into action. If you despise what the person says, if you have the first shred of negativity towards their story, keep your mouth shut because nothing helpful will come out of it. I have to keep a very open mind, a very welcoming attitude and I also have to be humble. Humble because I do not know the difficulty they face, the depth of their despair, how long it has been going on, how many people it has touched, etc. The information my students share is only 5% of what they’re going through, at best. So, I need to stay humble and not think that I know it all.

We are far, now, from cookie cutter lessons, aren’t we? Good. I like it  like  that.