Monthly Archives: September 2014

Patience Need Not Apply, Part 2

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Patience, as defined in Part 1, is not a quality useful to a teacher. But surely, you say, it must be useful to a student who needs years of study to achieve any kind of proficiency on a musical instrument. Perhaps, but are musicians really patient with themselves?

Let’s see how patience works in learning to play. You are in a practice room in a conservatory somewhere and: Continue reading

23 September 2014

Patience Need Not Apply, Part 1

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Patience in the Oxford English Dictionary is defined as “the suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble or evil) with calmness and composure….forbearance under provocation of any kind.” The very word comes from the Latin word for suffering. You might think that this is a valuable quality for a teacher to have, but think again; having patience with people or situations connotes putting up with something.  Just what is it that teachers should be tolerating?

Do we tolerate our students and the problems of teaching them? If a student is not learning fast enough or just can’t get a concept or technical point Continue reading

12 September 2014

Recitals, Part 2

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“Why should my son play in the recital when it is obvious he will never be a musician when he grows up?”

The argument that convinced my student’s reluctant mother to allow and encourage him to play in our recital is that playing recitals and concerts teaches you to recognize and prepare for performances of any kind when they crop up in life.

And they do: a job interview, for example. Continue reading

5 September 2014