Piano lessons is generally based on the long term one-on-one connection between a teacher and student. Through time and music, teacher learns about the student’s unique abilities, challenges, and personality.
One of the issues that arise out of this paradigm, is the lack of different perspectives of the child’s learning. Usually, there are three perspectives: one of the teacher, one of the student, and the parents.
So at the minimum, most piano students get 3 perspectives on their musical journey. This is not too shabby! However, in a long term journey in piano, 3 perspectives are not enough to provide guidance for constant growth and change.
Why is Perspective Important?
Perspective is important because it provides context to our journey. Let’s begin discussing by challenges in music. When a student is struggling in a piece, there are several different perspectives a teacher can take in solving the issue. Is it strictly an unfamiliarity problem? Therefore, can it be solved by more practicing? What comes first? Technique or musicality? What should be practiced first? These different routes drastically lead to differences in student’s musical journeys. After all, teacher are mentors and provide their philosophy as a guide.
On that note, it is important to identify what the goal of the teacher is. If the teacher is aiming to cultivate composers, the perspective on what steps to take differ widely from cultivating a performer.
Even when considering the above views, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a teacher, I can not guarantee that I have the perfect idea of music. Art is open to the public’s interpretation and criticism. That being said, it is important to have other people’s opinions on their observations.
How Can We Add Perspective?
Switching teachers for student is equally disruptive. When you switch teacher, you once again have to take time to build a relationship. In our next blog, we will discuss how to add the benefit of different perspectives in piano lessons.