Teaching the Individual, Part 2: Goals of the Student

This week we are discussing ways that we can maintain standards of excellence in our studios, while at the same time adapting our teaching styles to help each individual student succeed.

Discuss with each new student their goals related to piano lessons.
As new students enter your studio, sit down with them and have a candid discussion about why they are taking lessons. If they are transfer students, ask if they enjoy it. Find out exactly what they are hoping to get out of lessons. Some students may be very talented and motivated, and wish to prepare to study piano in college. Maybe they just want to learn how to read music, or work on their performance anxiety. Some may want to be able to play well for their own enjoyment. Some might want to learn how to sight read. You won’t know until you ask
Sometimes students don’t know what they want to get out of music lessons. In this case, it is a great opportunity to talk with them and help them come up with some goals. Doing this puts a little more responsibility on the student, for when they have set their own goals they will have something specific to work toward that is for them.
I have my new students fill out an information sheet when they join my studio, and the most important line on that sheet says, “What do you hope to get out of piano lessons?” I think it is better to start out on the same page right from the beginning, than to deal with a lot of frustration along the way.
Jennifer Boster

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