Keeping Students Motivated

Teaching Tip of the Week – Feb. 27, 2011

One of the best things we can do is teachers, both for the student and for our business, is to keep them motivated. This is best done by making sure they are always working toward a goal. One of the best goals is a performance of some kind, whether that be a student showcase or recital, an audition, singing in school or church, etc. It is not the teacher’s ‘job’ to find or create performing opportunities for their students, but the smart teacher keeps an “ear to the ground”, watching for auditions and performing opportunities they can let their students know about. And if it seems like those performing opportunities are few and far between it is a good idea to schedule a student showcase or recital. Some of these can be fancier on a bigger stage with a P.A. system, but some of these could be simple in a home, library or in a music store.

Even though we are always pushing our students to improve and improve their weaknesses, it is also important that they feel a sense of accomplishment by having a few songs they KNOW they can perform very well. Something easier for them that shows off their strengths so they have these songs to fall back on in an emergency. It is still important to give songs to students that challenge them and make them stretch, but it is also important for the student to be confident when they are performing. You don’t want your student going on stage thinking, “Well, if I got just the right amount of sleep, and there is just the right amount of humidity in the air, and if the stars are aligned just right I MIGHT be able to hit that high note.” Every student is going to be nervous or at least ‘anxious’ when they perform, so they need to be performing a song that they know, “I could have a cold, on a bad day with no sleep and still NAIL this song!” Remember most audiences (and judges) don’t give “degree of difficulty points” when they are listening to a singer. Either the student nails it or they don’t. SO make sure when the student goes out to audition or perform, yes, hopefully they are doing a song that is impressive, but more importantly a song that they are comfortable with that they sound good on.

Keeping your students motivated by making sure they have performing opportunities will pay BIG dividends to both the student and the teacher in the long run.

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