When teaching music is no longer about one’s talent, degrees, or dignity then teaching becomes all about the student and the moment.
Here are some pointers to teaching in the moment.
Have a plan and work the plan. Lesson plans are important to consistently adhere to. The plan becomes a weekly expectation for the student. If you do not have a plan, then the student will implement their own plan which is usually chaotic in nature.
How are you? Usually, I spend a minute or two finding out how the student’s day went. Children often say insightful thoughts such as, “I got an A on my spelling test today and I studied a lot for it!” I might reply, “Congratulations! your family will be very proud of you and your hard work.” Acknowledging a student’s success is very motivating and caring. Or a student who travels extensively with their family might lament that they do not have friends. In other words, the child is lonely.
Stay Positive. A little laughter goes a long way. All feedback can be turned into positive energy. Smile, be positive, and behave kindly (This is for the adult teacher not for the student!). Look for the silver lining in every cloud. Reword your response to affirm and acknowledge the student and at the same time, guide the conversation into a positive light. Such as, “Don’t worry you are safe, thunder is fun, it’s just the clouds clapping their hands together.”
Find something nice to say. This is a quick and simple observation such as new tennis shoes, fun-colored fingernails, new haircut, fun socks, shirt, pretty dress, etc. Like vitamins, everyone could use a daily compliment. One of my students, who was having a bad day, let me know that he was not happy about being at his lesson. As I opened his music bag to pull out his books, I noticed a wonderful drawing he had partially completed. I affirmed his talent and encouraged him to do more drawing. That simple moment of affirmation positively charged the atmosphere for the rest of his lesson.
What does your moment look like? A clean, friendly room creates a positive atmosphere. Artwork that promotes music is a must. Play calm background music in the waiting room. Avoid too much clutter, clean, dust, and have lots of hand sanitizer and Lysol. Post artwork by students. Put out of sight/reach any distracting items. Have a comfortable adjustable piano bench, extra chair for a parent, sunlight, file cabinet, bookshelf, plant, etc. These set the stage for a positive experience.
Respect, positivity, and a smile set the atmosphere for reciprocity. Teaching in the moment is a fun and stress-free style of learning. It opens the channels of communication so that both parties know what to expect as soon as they walk through the door.
Studio 237 Music Lessons is in Santa Rosa Beach. Our teachers are ready to teach guitar, piano, drums, voice, ukulele and more. Call Ray or Lisa Cyr at 850.231.3199 to schedule a visit or lessons. www.Studio237Music.com