What I'm Really Thinking - The Adult Piano Student RSS
The modern word, education, comes from the Latin word 'educare' which means 'to draw out that which is inside' and my experience as a music performance coach and therapist provides way too much evidence that many piano teachers, adjudicators and examiners have either lost sight of this or were never taught it in the first place.
You want 'good' students to work with which is natural enough. Your work needs to be meaningful and you want to help others which is why you teach in the first place. I want you to enjoy your work. I want you to enjoy teaching as much as I love learning.
This student is ready!
The saying goes, 'When the student is ready, the teacher appears'. Well this student is ready and here's why.
My journey to become the student you want to teach has been long and filled with self doubt and the fear of not living up to others expectations. I let life get in the way. I was too scared to have the courage of my convictions to study music and chase my dreams. I followed the often heard 'get a sensible job then do your music route'. It has been and continues to be a double-edged sword. Know that I am working on unpicking and unlearning all this whilst I am sitting and learning in your studio and practising at home.
This matters. It really matters.
I'm now 53 and I refuse to let the seed of musical talent planted within me at birth simply wither and die. Going back to piano lessons has been a 'come hell or high water' decision. Too many let their dreams wither and die and I refuse to be one of them.
So nurture me. Encourage me. Help me accelerate with good technique and enough theoretical understanding to 'get good' (whatever that means). Leave the unnecessary dogma of whatever pedagogy you learned in the Conservatoire where it belongs. Stop living vicariously through the students you teach to try and either look good or put one over on your peers.
This is about me, not you ...
My choice of repertoire, not yours. My decision to bypass grades or not. My journey into being seen instead of hiding. Know that this is a hero's journey not just a series of piano lessons.
I want you to know it takes courage as an adult learner to state and believe in our musical aspirations however far fetched they might seem to you on Day One. If you're not the right teacher for me then have the courage and integrity to say so. We will both be grateful you did.
If you are, then help me emulate those that inspired me in the first place. Help me build from there and exceed way beyond what I believe I am capable of. Help me get to where I want to go musically.
Do this and not only will I do all you ask but I will remember you forever.
Anonymous (name supplied)
Note from Sandy Holland, editor at E-MusicMaestro: This article was a guest blog contributed by a genuine adult piano student.
Images: Jamille Querioz, Cristina Gottardi, Tadas Mikuckis
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The E-MusicMaestro blog has several helpful articles for adult learners and also a FREE 14-part Guide for Music Parents, helping everyone to make the most of their lessons and achieve the best progress with their playing.