The Power of Connection
Connection is currency. We all have access to this currency, but do we use it? Read how an experience teaching piano reminded me of the power of connection for any field of study, work and growth.
The Teaching Situations
Two students presented the same musical mistakes yet with different causes. By knowing a little bit about them outside of the context of music lessons, I was able to diagnose the root problem and provide the appropriate solution.
Of similar ages, both piano students possessed the intellectual knowledge and technical facility to perform the assigned music yet were stuck with awkward pauses between the measures.
What was I, as their teacher, to do to help remedy their situation?
The Musical Solutions
I leaned into my knowledge of the students as people to find the proper solution for each student.
The first piano student, a former voice student, paused to take a physical breath as if they were singing the melody. The student began to play fluidly when they separated their physical breath from the act of playing the piano.
The second piano student, a youth with an ADHD diagnosis, paused when focusing on only one note at a time. When encouraged to look forward to the next note while playing the present note the student discovered a new ease in their playing.
Effective Piano Teaching Requires A Personal Connection
This experience reminded me of the joy and power of getting to know my students as people. Without these pieces of information about the students, I would have failed to accurately address their musical struggles. For this reason, I dedicate a few precious moments of each lesson time to inquiring about my student's life outside of the piano. I inquire about their additional time commitments, their hobbies, and their feelings about school, work, family, life, the piano, and music.
These few minutes inform not only the way in which I interact with a student but in the content and the depth of the content I share with my student. For students interested in music theory, I provide more detailed explanations. For students who enjoy music history, I offer additional historical facts or links to recordings. For students overwhelmed with life, I provide tips for how to fit in practice time. For students who feel discouraged, I offer encouragement.
It's imperative to develop a connection with each of my students, seeing them each as unique individuals. In knowing who they are, I can find individual solutions to their musical quandaries and more effectively bring the joy of music into their heart and home.
Food for Thought:
What’s one way you can use the power of connection to help you create the habits you are developing in your life?
Envision how it will feel to be connected to your activities and the people around you. Then, try it out!
I believe in the power of connection for any field of study, work and growth. When we seek to understand others in our sphere of influence and connect with them on a deeper level, we all grow, thrive and blossom together!
To learn more about the heart behind Blossom Piano Studio, check out this post about the reason behind the name of my studio.
Interested in learning more about how you can explore and connect to your own musical passion? (Its easier than you think!)
Is there a student/child in your life that has music in their soul, but you just doesn't know where to begin?
I'm happy to share simple options that are easy, fun and engaging, for all ages and skill levels (beginners and advanced players welcome).
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