We here at Park Cities School of Music love to see our students get pumped when they nail an exercise/piece or absolutely own a lesson from start to finish. Everyone involved feels a sense of accomplishment, and you want to take on the world with your instrument in hand. Other times, though, it’s not so great, and when the frustrations mount, it can get rough for parents, students, & teachers alike.
Sometimes the issue has to do with the focus primarily on one thing between lessons. With so much attention being given to that one piece/exercise/theory practice, the success of the lesson & its follow-up hinges on whether it goes well or not. That’s a lot of pressure!
The teachers at Park Cities School of Music provide students with practice charts & a recommended repertoire week to week as a guide for students to: 1) keep up their chops; 2) document the work they’re putting in between lessons; and 3) to chart their progress long-term. We also stress the importance of having students get accustomed to working with their chosen instrument.
The more a musician becomes acquainted with his/her instrument, the less strange it becomes to hold & play it. This is one less thing to distract a student from what they’re trying to do most, and that’s play music. But getting acquainted with one’s instrument involves being a little avant-garde & seeing what sounds you can make. They may not always be pretty, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be musical in some way.
Playing music should always be about keeping things fun & light but never losing sight of your goals as a musician. There’s a fine line in all of this, but navigating this line is made easier when you’re working with a great teacher who has done it before & can show you the ropes.