Jump to content


Photo

How do teachers encourage students to love playing or singing music?

teachers students music

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 tulip21

tulip21

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Member: 898887
    Joined: 28-March 18

Posted 15 July 2018 - 01:06

Hi everyone,
I've heard that a lot of teachers somehow "encourage students to love playing or singing music". While I think this is an important goal, I'm curious as to some possible ways of achieving this goal. I, for one, have enjoyed playing instruments all my life. I don't exactly think my teachers had a huge influence on my enthusiasm for playing music, though they must've contributed to it somewhat. What are your thoughts?
  • 0

#2 Latin pianist

Latin pianist

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3761 posts
  • Member: 711500
    Joined: 01-April 13
  • Cotswolds

Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:35

So your teachers didn't teach you to play, give you music that you liked and was the right level to make you progress without it being overwhelming? Or introduce you to various composers and styles of music? Or play duets with you? Or support you when your progress was not going well?
I adored playing as a child, I still do, but without a good teacher I wouldn't have had the ability to progress.
I try to do all this with my own pupils and to show them that I still get a lot of pleasure from playing and from all the different things I get asked to play for.
Unless you're self taught surely your teachers must have influenced you.
  • 1

#3 Aquarelle

Aquarelle

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7853 posts
  • Member: 10531
    Joined: 05-April 07

Posted 15 July 2018 - 12:29

Children and young people are very, very responsive. All you have to do is show them how much you love music. Rave about it - tell them and show them how beautiful, touching, imaginative, funny, moving etc.  it is. Link it up with other art forms. Just keep on about this thing which makes us human in the best sense of the word. As Atarah ben Tovim once said to me "We have to touch their souls." One sometimes gets the impression that not every single child responds. But you never, never know what you have sown in their minds.

Get older and more experienced students to share their pleasure with younger ones through concerts, duets - anything you can think of.

Of course they need to work at it - but then nothing in this life which is worth having comes without some form of commitment. 

I was fortunate to be taught by several teachers whose love of music opened up a whole world for me. In the last lesson of term with a fifteen year old I gave her "Plaisir d'Amour' - a simple arrangement - for the holiday. She didn't "get it". I could see it made no musical sense to her. So I played it through and when I turned round afterwards she smiled and said "C'est beau!" and she went on to say that once  she had learned it she thought it would be as rewarding to play as Handel's "Berenice" - one of the pieces she had played for the end of year concert. I asked another pupil, an eleven year old boy, if I had given him too much holiday work. He said "It's not work, it's piano. It's to enjoy yourself." If you love music, they will.


  • 5

#4 HelenVJ

HelenVJ

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2233 posts
  • Member: 1265
    Joined: 03-May 04
  • South-East London ( OK - Penge)

Posted 15 July 2018 - 12:43

Such a great endorsement, Aquarelle. I'll be offering (optional)  lessons for about 3 mornings a week on 3 different weeks of the summer holidays (9 mornings in total - I can do that!)  and during this past week it's been wonderful and rewarding  to have parents and kids booking these enthusiastically, rather than regarding holiday work/lessons as some unpleasant chore or duty. But I really do have a great set of students at the moment, playing repertoire that they love and can engage with, for their own pleasure and recreation.


  • 2

#5 jenny

jenny

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2844 posts
  • Member: 7686
    Joined: 16-September 06
  • Manchester

Posted 15 July 2018 - 14:20

 

 In the last lesson of term with a fifteen year old I gave her "Plaisir d'Amour' - a simple arrangement - for the holiday. She didn't "get it". I could see it made no musical sense to her. So I played it through and when I turned round afterwards she smiled and said "C'est beau!" and she went on to say that once  she had learned it she thought it would be as rewarding to play as Handel's "Berenice" - one of the pieces she had played for the end of year concert. 

 

 

This is so important. Some of our pupils probably don't listen to music (other than 'pop' music, perhaps) and performing for them will hopefully inspire and motivate them. I have several adult pupils who sometime ask me to play their pieces at the end of the lesson and their reactions are always very rewarding. One young adult pupil (who has Aspergers) really benefits from listening, and his mum, who sits in on his lessons, likes to record it on her phone so that her son can watch again at home.  


  • 0

#6 tulip21

tulip21

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Member: 898887
    Joined: 28-March 18

Posted 15 July 2018 - 17:17

So your teachers didn't teach you to play, give you music that you liked and was the right level to make you progress without it being overwhelming? Or introduce you to various composers and styles of music? Or play duets with you? Or support you when your progress was not going well?


Yes, my teachers certainly did all of those things. It's just that I never thought it would influence one's love of music.

Thank you all for your very informative responses.
  • 0

#7 fsharpminor

fsharpminor

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17682 posts
  • Member: 7089
    Joined: 07-June 06
  • Heswall, Wirral (originally Keighley, Yorks)

Posted 15 July 2018 - 18:12

LOL on the forums index the heading for this thread just says.. 

'How do teachers encourage students to love playing or sin......'    (because there's no more space)


  • 1

#8 Cyrilla

Cyrilla

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14616 posts
  • Member: 99
    Joined: 09-November 03
  • Croydon, South London/Surrey

Posted 15 July 2018 - 21:55

Totally agree with Aquarelle.

 

It is the teacher's enthusiasm which is more powerful than anything (I speak as a class/group teacher here).

 

We can all remember teachers who have inspired us in a certain subject and in every case it has been their passion which has shone through and been infectious.

 

Also showing respect, love and care for those you teach has a big effect.   Children are like animals - they can sense if you like them or not.   Recently I had some teachers watching a Y4 group of mine.   They made a comment to a colleague later, 'Those children will do anything for Cyrilla because they love her'.   NOT blowing my own trumpet here!   I love them too and they know it.

 

With my 1-2-1 adults I think they respond to the same things, but also they appreciate teaching skill.   They are so excited and grateful when I've managed to help them find a way round a difficulty.

 

:)


  • 0

#9 GMc

GMc

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1076 posts
  • Member: 322722
    Joined: 27-September 11

Posted 16 July 2018 - 07:26

If you can organise a lesson/ event/masterclass/visit to a concert/festival etc that lets children hear someone truly amazing it can turn on a switch and light dawns about what practice potentially leads to and the emotional connection of music. For me it was hearing John Ogden give a concert when I was very young, listening to Dad's few favourite tapes non stop in the car (all violin concertos apart from Lucia di Lammamoor) and later a masterclass with Julian Lloyd Webber in my early teens. For DD it was non-stop listening to classical music since birth at home, seeing and hearing the Swan Lake harp cadenza live (pure luck as only part of one row in the theatre had a view of that) and then being part of an accompanying ensemble at age 9 for Alice Giles playing Venezolana by Alfredo Ortiz with huge dramatic flair. She got to play one note pe bar!

I very much agree with Cyrilla about the relationship aspect - a friend of mine told me once that the reason her 5 kids all loved me was that I did not change the way I talked to them in comparison with adult conversation like most adults and teachers did.
  • 0

#10 musicalmalc

musicalmalc

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 414 posts
  • Member: 516127
    Joined: 06-September 12

Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:07

So your teachers didn't teach you to play, give you music that you liked and was the right level to make you progress without it being overwhelming? Or introduce you to various composers and styles of music? Or play duets with you? Or support you when your progress was not going well?

In my case 'no' to most of those, simply taught enough to get through the next exam - I loved playing, hated lessons. Definitely never played duets.

It's only many years later that I realise what a poor teacher she was and was probably the principal reason I thought I'd plateau'd at G6 and couldn't be bothered doing the theory exam to progress further, Certainly never introduced Hanon or Czerny to strengthen fingers or improve speed/agility.
Good job I was self taught up to about G3 (age 11) and loved devouring pieces of all styles and by the time I got to G6 already preferred and was regularly accompanying.a choir.


  • 0

#11 elemimele

elemimele

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1282 posts
  • Member: 895612
    Joined: 17-July 16

Posted 16 July 2018 - 11:25

GMc, and Cyrilla, this is particularly poignant for me through contact with autism. It's so true. Adults who adopt a special talking-to-children voice with weird mannerisms are bad enough for normal people, but for autistic people they're a complete catastrophe. For a person who struggles to "read" others even when communication is good, communicating with someone who's put on an artificial mask is very, very disconcerting. Cyrilla is right: children pick up on how you feel about them, and how you behave towards them, and they respond in kind. They can spot artificiality and hypocrisy a mile off and they have no respect for two-faced adults who say one thing and mean something else - or adults who fob them off with a lazy answer just because they're kids.

 

Tulip21, I sort-of get where you're coming from about inspiration and already being enthusiastic. I mean: ideally, a child is already enthusiastic at some level before they meet their teacher. Ideally, as a parent, you see your child fascinated by a particular instrument, or loving music in some way, and you decide to give them the chance to develop an interest that's already there, by finding them an inspirational teacher. We can easily focus on the material things the teacher does, giving us the tools to carry out the interest we already have. It's far harder to quantify how a teacher enlarges our enthusiasm and interest. We can't compare how we are at age 14 (or whenever) with teacher compared to how we would have been at age 14 had we not had a teacher. The cultivating-enthusiasm bit of a teacher's role isn't so obvious as the teaching-you-fingering role, but it's there, it's going on all the while, and it has the longest-lasting consequences.

 

I still think that every time you provide a child (or an adult) with an opportunity to do something they've never done before, or experience something they've never done before, and you listen to their reactions, their feelings, and give them honest and constructive feedback (which could just mean a well-timed smile) on what they've achieved, you are helping them to develop their own interest. It won't be forgotten. Good teachers, who earn trust, and inspire, are worth their weight in gold.


  • 1





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: teachers, students, music