Finding the right teacher is important. But why?
Music teachers not only help us to learn and get better at our skill, but they play a crucial part in impacting a students life. Chances are, if we choose to take any form of music lessons, we will see our teachers for a minimum of one lesson per week for potentially years as a time.
What does this say about their influence over the student? They say you slowly become the people are you surrounded with. And for young child, it is crucial that the influence teachers impart on them is positive, engaging, trustworthy and genuine.
I remember a parent once saying to me, "I want to keep you around because I can see how you're influencing my child. You have good morals, and you're very encouraging." Personally, at the time I didn't understand why this was such a big deal. But as I've continued to teach and see young people grow, I can see how consistent remarks such as: "Yes, I know it's difficult now. But I promise it'll get easier with a little effort" Have come to: "Wow, did you figure that out yourself?". It's not rocket science, but our encouragement and belief in each student shapes and moulds them for life. Yes, this is also why learning a musical instrument is the best reward!
I don't think that encouragement ever replaces discipline, however in order to teach well, we need a generous serving of both.
Seeing people believe in themselves is the truly best reward. Watching students become determined to work out phrasing, master difficult techniques and understand unique rhythms encourages me. And I certainly don't think it would be fair to say that the influence is leaning one way.
I believe that the key to a great teacher is one who consistently believes in their student, creatively helps them understand musical concepts, and is determined to see progress.
What do you believe makes the recipe of a good music teacher?