by Calia Howse, music instructor at Metro Music Makers
Teaching children to have a passion for music is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world; however, keeping their interest can also be a challenging task. As a first year teacher, I’ve acquired some valuable tips that will ensure consistent, beneficial lessons. This will make the overall experience valuable for the teacher, parent and, most importantly, the student.
- Learn to adjust. Although there is no step-by-step preparation for unforeseen circumstances, it is important for the teacher to be prepared to adapt when these situations arise. Parents are physically adjusting rooms in their house, and students are getting acclimated to lessons with a new teacher. Everyone is adapting; everyone is learning how to work with one another. Great job, team!
- Be flexible. We all know schedules can change, and school events can prevent students from having lessons. As a teacher, makeup lessons are essential to keeping the student on track. However, teachers also have emergencies concerning family, personal matters and illnesses. Keeping a flexible schedule ensures that everyone is committed to the lesson and making up the lesson if needed. Remember, there is always more than one solution to fix a problem, especially if you’re flexible!
- Communicate. Students need to feel comfortable with their teacher in order to be vocal about issues concerning them in lessons. Teachers need to communicate to parents about events and scheduling regarding the student. This sense of communication allows for everyone to be personable and always on the same page. Talk, text, email!
- Be realistic. Our students have after-school activities, as well as in-home music lessons. Sports banquets seem to have a funny way of being scheduled exactly when music lessons begin! As teachers, we have to be realistic about our students having more than one obligation. As parents, it’s good to remember that teachers sometimes run into traffic, scarf down food before the lesson, and often need to use your bathroom!
- Be open to new ideas. Not every student learns the same way, and not every teacher has the same lesson plan for each student. Students need to be open to different ways of learning, and it’s essential for teachers to have a variety of teaching outlets. Having an open mind is the key to growth!
Keeping these five tips in mind can ensure a successful and overall positive music lesson for everyone. Three cheers for fantastic music lessons for all!