Friday, November 28, 2008

Teacher Burn Out?

Many times a young person will study with a teacher for several years and for one reason or another, progress just stops.  It is very easy to cross over that grey line where a student teacher relationship stops having the professional distance which is so important.  

Students should respect their teacher and parents should instill this respect from the start of lessons.  When the respect for any teacher diminishes, then it may be time to secure a new teacher.

I know that I only had the privilege of having two major teachers at the piano who influenced my life and career greatly; Mrs. Faye Johnson and Mr. David Ehrman.

My respect for these precious teachers and musicians is immense.  I remember only one time in college where I was not fully prepared for my lesson and I called Mr. Ehrman from a pay phone and cancelled my lesson; I was almost in tears and was so shaken to have to call him that it never happened again.  I so admired this dear man who had poured his life into mine and so cared for me and helped me develop my talent tremendously .  I simply did not want to waste his time being ill prepared.

I put myself through college teaching piano and it paid all my bills.  When I was sixteen and had finally worn my mother down and she relented and after 8 years, cancelled my piano lessons with Mrs. Johnson, this dear teachers last words to me were "tell Artie he should be a piano teacher".  

This affirmation established my career for the next few decades and has afforded me immense pleasure and satisfaction.

So if you sensing that your child is burned out, no longer respects their teacher, by all means try out some new teachers and find that special one that will make piano and music  come alive to your young person.

Art Scott

Friday, November 21, 2008

Group Piano or Private Lessons

Many parents ask me the difference between group vs. private piano lessons.  There are pros and cons on each side.

Group Lessons

Are Cheaper
No Individualized Attention
The class moves at a constant pace forward and children who don't catch on are left behind and may feel angry and frustrated
Students who have great musical talent will excel sometimes in spite of the teaching environment

Private Lessons

With a qualified teacher children who are slow learners, perhaps have limited musical aptitude can still learn well and be able learn AT THEIR OWN PACE.
With a nuturing, patient teacher who is experienced all Children can learn and feel great about their lessons and will be proud of their accomplishments.
Children will be monitored on a consistent basis so they will progress and reach their highest potential
Private lessons will always cost a little more - but you get what you pay for.

If you have some thoughts on this issue, please send them to me.

Art Scott    "Every Child Deserves a Music Education!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Time to Applaud....

We all grew us in different homes and in various family dynamics.  For some of us, there were so many children (5) that kids practically raise each other.  I remember when I would practice piano, my dad could not wait till I was finished practicing so he could watch the 6 o'clock news.


I am so thankful after 40 years of teaching to have been a part of hundreds of families and have watched how much cooperation is rendered by a child when they are praised and made to feel important because of their musical accomplishments.  

It's funny to me, being a music educator how so many parents will have their kids involved in so many sports, drive and even fly to other states to participate in competitions, yet when I comes to piano or any instrument including voice, where is the same passion?

I once have a friend in college who played football tell me that he admired me and other musicians because what we did for our profession we could literally do for the rest of our lives.  Often times if a person is a professional athlete of any major sport, their bodies are so injured at the end of their career, physically they are washed up and can no longer play the sport they loved.  Interested contrasts.

So I wish that more parents would balance getting their kids involved in sports is great, but in addition, develop a child's intellect should always include at Music Education.
Every child deserves a Music Education.    Art Scott