Hitting the Refresh -Teaching-


It was an early winter afternoon when I sat down with a violin student of mine at her home for the very first time. Up until this point her and I had been meeting in a more formal setting such as my studio. After some deliberation with her parents on convenience and scheduling, we decided to try the lesson at their home. As we began the lesson I noticed a defined difference in the demeanor of my young student. A simple easiness and an “at home-ness” was present in the way she held herself. Throughout the lesson there seemed to be more focus and ease of flow with how we progressed from technical to song study. After this very successful lesson was over and I had said my goodbyes, I began to contemplate the whole of what teaching is.

As teachers it is up to us to convey information in such a way that the individual is able to capture and then perform the taught information. But where do we hit the brick wall? We are educated and versed in what we are teaching… So where is this elusive block that sometimes appears before us when in the midst of instructing?

After this successful lesson with my student in her home it hit me… It wasn’t the fact that the lesson was in her home, a place of comfort and familiarity(although a big part, I’m sure). For In-home lessons are standard these days. My conclusion came to that the lesson being in her home “worked for her”.

The mind set of having each student learning the same method, in the same classroom, in the same fashion puts kids and adults alike in box. It chains down their personality from learning in their own unique way. Giving attention to both sides, we do see that sometimes the same way of learning works for another as it does for someone else. But, how well? So, as teachers and instructors sometimes we can’t change the external environment of the student but we can work with their inner environment. Hitting our mind’s refresh button before and after each lesson. This gives the student a chance. A chance to be free to learn in their own fashion and not to be forced or placed in a box set by the previous student. Methods, centers, schools, and practices are perfect tools. But, only until they are superimposed on the individual. Then, they relinquish their “tool” and aiding status to a more of a hindrance. From now on everytime you feel as though there is a lack of flow with informational transfer in a lesson or training course of yours, don’t be scared to take that leap as a teacher and instructor to change. Ultimately, by acting on the willingness to be that change for the student’s benefit, the student will in turn be that change for the world.

By: Thomas McGregor ©2011


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