Building confidence in a music lesson

Pamela Jordan

Teacher to Student: "What are you doing well, and what could you improve?"

I have found these questions have a profoundly beneficial effect in a number of areas.ย 

* It builds self-esteem
* It builds motivation
* It builds clarity of purpose
* It builds more effective practise
* It builds musical vocabulary
* It builds the ability to be discerning about their playing
* It builds self-coaching ability
* It builds the capacity for independent learning
* It builds musical sovereignty
* It beneficially shows the teacher your level of understanding

Sure, at first it seems a tad foreign and the student doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe what they are or aren’t doing or what is happening in the music. With patient correction they soon build the vocabulary along with more confidence in themselves as a musician.

99% of students begin with saying what they could improve, and struggle with saying what they did well. This is where I add my perspective and tell them what I noticed that they did well.ย  I aim for a balanced viewpoint. Enough so they know what needs to be worked on and how to do that, and enough of a boost to keep their motivation up too.

It’s quite powerful when the student looks for the answers themselves, don’t you agree?

So when you or your child are at home practising by yourself, you can encourage your child or yourself to ask the questions…

“What am I doing well, and what could I improve?”

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