Diary of a Music Teacher: Setting the Right Expectations for Each Student

Now with the new term starting, it is a good time to remind ourselves of what kind of expectations to set for each student. Each student is different and in a different place on their learning journeys; therefore, expectations for each student need to be set accordingly. For example, someone who has been playing their instrument of choice a lot over the holidays and is always practicing can be set higher expectations and goals than someone who hardly ever practices.

What I have found is that when a child is faced with goals and expectations that they find set too high, it often affects their motivation in a negative way. Goals and expectations need to be set at a level that a student feels are realistic and can be reached. When students feel that it is possible to reach the goals that have been set, they are more likely to do their part in achieving those goals.

Sometimes it can take a few lessons into the new term to set appropriate goals once you have assessed the current level of play of each student. What I find kind nice to do is to mix up playing challenging songs with more easy-going ones to get going with lessons again.It is always fun to play duets, for example, or piano versions of current pop song.

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