How to Give Inspiring Music Lessons

It takes more than exceptional talent to make someone well suited to giving great music lessons. Music teachers should inspire their students to emulate the same levels of mastery they’ve acquired. The passion and dedication that served as a catalyst in the tutor’s own progression should be instilled into the student to help them in theirs.

Students who often fail to progress might view learning to play a musical instrument as more of a chore, rather than an enjoyable pastime. Therefore, it’s inevitable that the interest and commitment of some students may wane and their musical journey fizzles out.

Learning an instrument is not for everyone. Though, music teachers should actively try to capture their students’ imaginations and harness a genuine passion for the instrument they are pursuing.

While there is no definitive list of the exact qualities that music teachers should possess in order to deliver productive and stimulating lessons, there are a number of common traits seen in tutors who regularly manage to unlock their students’ true potential.

Establish a personal connection and positive learning environment

It’s likely that students will advance quicker if they share a real connection with their mentor. Ensuring that your students feel comfortable and not afraid to ask questions will certainly help them open up and resolve any nagging thoughts they may have.

It is important to stay enthusiastic during your lessons and have a positive mindset. Do not be afraid to show that you care about a student’s development and are proud of their achievements.

Equally, should a student struggle to get to grips with a new technique or performance, you must remain patient with them. Be attentive to their needs and readily offer advice to help them overcome their struggles.

Look to ease any signs of frustrations or pressure they might be showing by offering words of encouragement. Reassure them of the difficulty of the task and the progress they’ve already made in tackling it.

Demonstrate guidance and forward planning

Music students often have a fixed goal in mind. It might be passing their exams, learn a particular playing technique or attain musical virtuosity. Find out exactly what they want to achieve and set out a plan on how to reach their goal.

It’s important that you continually review your lesson plans with your student to keep them satisfied and motivated.

Music lesson preparation

Once you’ve established what your student is hoping to achieve from your lessons together, you should spend some time planning classes in advance. This way, you can establish an efficient route to help them quickly realise their goals.

Effective and concise communication

Remember that students are paying you for your time. This means that they have certain expectations of what they’ll get in return from their investment, and should you fail to meet their expectations they may choose to look for a new music teacher.

It’s important to communicate your message succinctly; deliver the core concepts and highlight areas for improvement without digressing too much. Unless you’re teaching more theoretical aspects, you should aim for playing music to take up the bulk of your lesson time.

Challenge your students

Great music teachers are prepared to push their students out of their comfort zone and encourage them to try something new. For instance, recommending your students to study other genres and artists can help them broaden their musical repertoire and versatility. Such a move could ultimately aid their progression as they would then be able to draw upon new techniques in their playing style and approach to songwriting. However, you should be prepared to back down if your student appears reluctant towards your suggestion.

Similarly, if you have reason to believe that your student is slacking or not practicing enough, you should tell them honestly that they need to find more time to dedicate to music if they want to continue to progress. Do remember though that music lessons should be enjoyable, you do not want to persistently nag your students. This may only heighten what might be a growing disinterest in learning music.

Believe that all students are capable of realising their potential

Musicians learn at different paces and require different strategies in order to progress. While some students will need longer to get to grips with some fundamentals and demonstrate less natural ability than others, view each student with the same mentality: with the right attitude and level of dedication, they’re each capable of becoming talented musicians.

A lack of belief in a particular student may result in a teacher approaching their lessons in a manner that will only slow their progress further.

Do you have any tips to share? Please add them in the comments below.

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