We learn to sing and play instruments through gradual development, habituation, and integration of a sophisticated collection of skills. I truly believe that the mark of a great teacher is not how quickly they “deliver the concepts,” but how elegantly they help each student lay the groundwork for a stellar, balanced technique and then continue to expand their abilities. This requires not only pedagogical knowledge and skill, but also a deep appreciation for each student’s learning process and the ability to empathize with their experiences throughout their development.
Just like with any experience, with private music study, you’ll get the same amount of value out of it as effort and passion you put into it. It’s an experience that we create together, but the INSTRUCTORS are the ones responsible for setting the tone.
When deciding exactly what that tone would be at Music Junkie Studios, I started by deciding and remembering what it feels like to be on the receiving end of really, reaaally good instruction.
I feel seen. The teacher gets me and understands my aspirations, my learning style, and my concerns and anxieties.
I feel heard. They understand my instrument, what I can and can’t do with it, and what I’d like to be able to do better.
I feel encouraged. They genuinely care that I achieve my desires and they believe that I can. They hang in there with me when challenges arise.
I feel safe. I have the freedom to make ugly noises, make mistakes, and expose my weaknesses- because I can trust the teacher to respond with empathy rather than judgment. The teacher has earned my trust, so I am willing to try whatever they suggest even when it feels risky or doesn’t make sense to me at first.
I feel supported. The teacher is the one steering the session, but they’re responsive to my priorities and questions and are really interested in my observations.
It begins in the studio. Our studio. When we are intentional about showing our students kindness and help them to feel supported and seen, we send a message that their voice, what they have to say, who they fundamentally are, matters. Whether or not they go on to pursue or have a career in music, that is perhaps the most important lesson any of us can learn.
2 thoughts on “Teaching music is not enough”
I wish you taught banjo. (Not The Earl Scrugs style.)
That makes two of us! Perhaps one day soon. Thanks for the comment!