Listening to this a lot this week. A truly transcendent piece of music. From Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. I hope everyone has a chance to hear this one.
Two of the great minds of the last 100 years discuss music. The scientist and the great mystical poet.
I want to emphasize today the importance of communication with your child’s piano instructor. The best way to do this is to ask a lot of questions. For myself, I do not always have time to do this while students are here (nor is it desirable to always talk about a student in front of them) however, I can always make time for this or respond to questions in writing. Let me suggest some questions that you can ask your teacher:
1) What are my child’s strengths? How are you using his strengths in planning his lessons?
2) What are his weaknesses? How are you addressing those in lessons?
3) Is my child practicing enough?
4) What is the emphasis of his lesson this week?
5) Where has the student made the most progress recently? and the least?
6) Ask about behaviour, body language.
7) Ask about a student’s attitude in overcoming obstacles? Does that student take the challenge with energy and enthusiasm or does he fear making mistakes and avoids practicing the tougher areas of a song?
8) Ask what you can do to help the student at home.
9) Ask about their energy levels in class and if they can be improved somehow.
10) Ask about their level of concentration and how it can be improved.
If you have any criticisms for the teacher, ask why they are doing certain things the way they are doing them. For example, you could ask why are you being stern today in regards to a particular problem? or why are you being too lenient on a particular problem?
I would also encourage you to share any and all sentiments you have about the lessons whether positive or negative with your teacher. All teachers are striving to improve the quality of their teaching constantly and the critic is our very best friend.