But I see more than just simple Christmas carols being played and sung by students of various levels of ability. What is being developed in these children is something far greater...
A Taste of the Limelight
And now each parent has an opportunity to do something with that raw part of their child's personality that has been exposed and put to the test in a public event. How can we use this to benefit our students?
- Ask them about the feelings and emotions they experienced. Try to understand the psychological hurdles they faced as a performer.
- Give them feedback. Talk to them about what you noticed in the way they performed.
- Show positive support. Get beyond superficial comments and tell the student something in particular you liked about their performance. Let them know by your words that you were really paying attention.
- Honestly express concerns about any negative attitudes that were displayed. If the student showed anger, pride, carelessness, etc., this is an opportunity for the parent or teacher to address it.
- Give ideas for improvement. In the case of negative behavior, don't just express disappointment. Rather, explain what you expect out of them in the future and how it will benefit them.
Practice on Display
This again is an opportunity for parents and teachers to help students to form habits that will benefit their abilities in music, and much more importantly their self-discipline and determination in reaching goals. Most music students will never perform professionally or make their living in music. But what they definitely will take away from their music lessons is either more or less ability to strive diligently toward a worthy goal.
It is true -- different children have different levels of natural ability. We all know that. But any child is capable of having discipline and character. All children need guidance in this regard, however, with the greatest molder of a child's character being Dad and Mom. Parents, your children need you to care.
Reaching the Goal
What have you seen in your students as they perform for recitals and programs?
What do you do to positively influence your students?