One question that comes up often when I am chatting to other music teachers is on the topic of inspiring young students and keeping them inspired. In 2019 you’d certainly be aware that the internet is a massive driving force in how people of all ages consume content. The world is a much smaller place and a wealth of information is only a few clicks away.
As a result of this fast-paced world we now live in, I often find that peoples expectations on timelines are reduced. After all, you can order a product online and have it delivered the same day. Why would we ever need to wait for anything these days?
When I started playing guitar, I knew I was starting on a journey that would last me a lifetime but is that perception still in existence in 2019? I don’t believe it is. We live in an age of instant gratification where someone wants to start an Instagram page and be the next Ed Sheeran in a week or they aren’t interested in following that path.
As a teacher, it is your job to inspire as well as educate. When everything is so instant, how do we inspire?
- Fun and to the point lessons – If your student has a goal (Let’s say to play guitar like Ed Sheeran) then focus on what that takes. Chord changes, rhythms, simple songs. This will help the student hit a goal very quickly.
- Reassurance – Keep reassuring your students how well they are doing. Your encouraging words will inspire them to keep pushing, especially in those difficult times where the easy thing to do would be to walk away.
- Quick Progress – Now, I know we can’t promise this. No two students learn the same and everyone progresses at a different speed, but I always try to provide younger students wish bite size songs, patterns or exercises that they can quickly get to grips with. The faster someone can get something nailed, the more inspired they feel.
The process of inspiring students is different for every single student. Never underestimate how much inspiration comes into learning. If you teach every student with a blanket method, you’ll surely find a decrease in engagement with some younger students.
If doesn’t matter if you teach piano, guitar or banjo anywhere from the Highlands down to Portsmouth, you can inspire the next generation of musicians!