Inspire students with your teaching practice
The breadth and creativity of your practice acts as a mirror for your students’ growth as musicians. Share the wisdom of your life both musical and non-musical with them. Be authentic. It’s your teaching practice. It is the grand sum total of all your life experiences, what you have learned, what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked.
A teacher for all seasons
Something that was fun when a child was seven or eight may get you an eye roll from an eleven year old. Practice in front of your students. They learn a lot by watching how you figure things out. They see that you aren’t perfect and you have to practice too. Think about when to jump in and help a student and when to let them work it out themselves. Struggling is not the same as suffering. Students develop confidence by learning self reliance.
Set clear boundaries and take care of your own mental health
Teaching is emotionally demanding work. You need to take breaks. You can’t be available to your students 24/7. Vary your role with students by being their coach, peer, or colleague, but always keep one foot in your role as their teacher. Be honest about your own abilities on your instrument but just because a student is particularly gifted, doesn’t lessen your ability to guide them through complicated repertoire.
Thank you to Omer Salom for this beautiful image taken in Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona.