Last week I asked a student what goals they wanted to set for the coming school year. Finding what excites and challenges a high school student can be something of a challenge. The student answered that taking the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program exams was at the top of the list. This was followed by playing a ‘real’ classical music piece.
Now you have to understand, I don’t give my students ‘fake’ classical music pieces. The student was meaning that they wanted an independent piece not from a book or set of pieces. I think this is an admirable goal. However, the student is smack dab in the middle of intermediate music. Talking about challenging.
The pieces that I can think of easily that this student would student love are too difficult right now. The student wants to branch out from the classical era which is something of a niche for them and produces the best results. This particular student really dislikes modern music. Talk about frustrating perimeters.
Intermediate music is the most difficult for me as a teacher to select. How to find the most exciting piece? How to keep it challenging but not too difficult? What new skills can be learned? How long should the piece be?
I think I will need to consider this a treasure hunt and dig deep into my music library.