Last week was the first week back from Christmas break for about half of my students. There were highs and lows. Trying to get everyone to focus was challenging since it had been the first day back at school. The kids were all excited to tell me how their break went and to let me know that they had practiced. I told everyone that practice was optional over the break. I’m happy they (or their parents) kept working.
It seems that many of these students are hitting the early intermediate music at the same time. It makes me a little nervous. It is wonderful that they are working so hard and have reach this level so quickly. The challenge is caused by that same dedication. Most of these kids still want to complete pieces in a single week. Their music has just gotten to the point that it just isn’t feasible for the most part. Trying to explain that they haven’t done anything wrong, but it is going to take more time doesn’t always go over very well. All they hear is that they didn’t get a sticker that week. The next thing I hear is that piano is hard, and they aren’t having fun. Trying to find the correct balance is a challenge. Learning to appreciate longer term goals is just part of growing up. Practicing dedication even when things get difficult and it doesn’t seem fun at the moment is part of growing up. Coaxing these students through these challenging levels is hard work for everyone. I just hope the growing pains aren’t too bad!