Posted by Lena Green.
The summer is beginning and most of the schools have already celebrated their ‘last day of the school year’! Kudos to all of the teachers and responsible parents who made it!
What does summer mean for the majority of caring parents worldwide? It means traveling with their family, finding a summer school for kids, a new high school or a college, a soccer team, a teen fitness camp or a private teacher to make the best out of the summer time!
When I recently met one of my new piano students, I asked him why he wanted to spend time playing piano in the summer, while other kids are playing lacrosse, swimming and taking karate lessons.
The answer was unique: “Because I like Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins and I want to study how to play the guitar and the piano this summer so that I can audition and play in the school band next year.
WOW, such a big dream for a 7 year old! I was inspired, I like these musicians myself! But my next thought was -” I should make a customized curriculum for this pianist so that some of his beloved melodies will be included in our lessons”.
When I spoke to the parent of the student and he asked me about the books and our program, I mentioned that there is no such thing as “one size fits all “in my approach. I do not appreciate the method when the instructor offers his only book to all of the students. This kind of approach is scholastic machinery. It does not reflect on the student’s personality. We all are different and what is brilliant for one, maybe hated, ridiculed or ignored by another.
So, following my humane views, I am making customized packets for each of my students. They include samples from different books of different publishers, my own improvisational sketches, and some theory notebooks that are essential for music practices worldwide. I am making sure that my student can practice or listen to an easy version of Phil Collins during the lesson, since this singer had such an impact on my newbies’ music taste, creativity, his future plans and perhaps, his future career or path in life.
And one more thing that I mentioned to that parent and that I want to share with other ladies and gentlemen. “I never take a student who wants to practice only one simple song, like “Old McDonald had a farm”. This “lesson plan B” seems ridiculous to me. Surely with this attitude, this student does not belong to the cast of my little versatile geniuses, with their big dreams and smart hearts, that I love to deal with.
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