We’ve all heard how science illustrates the effectiveness of music study in improving cognition, motor coordination, social abilities, and so much more. It's not just for kids, but for all ages and walks of life – music catalyzes growth. The more we know, the more neural connections are made and strengthened. No amount of knowledge goes to waste, and no limit presents itself along the way. In this blog, anyone from parents of music students, music students themselves, those beginning their musical journey through exploration, to aspiring professional performers and educators can find helpful tips on navigating the learning/teaching process. As with any worthwhile endeavor, many challenges and triumphs inhabit the process, and make it ultimately fulfilling.
My first topic of discussion concerns something which I recently experienced as an independent music teacher: How to handle the situation of a student with more than one teacher. For students in a school band or orchestra program, this usually entails the band/orchestra director and hopefully a private teacher in addition to a possible piano teacher, a private voice teacher, etc. Sometimes there is pedagogical disagreement between teachers, but more often than outright disagreements, natural conflicts arise when different teachers approach the same subject from varied settings such as in this case, classroom v. one-on-one private study.
For example, a band student may be told to tongue everything by their band director, but the private instructor may have determined to work on lip slurring exclusively according to another method. The student who is just struggling to get started will not be able to decide whose advice to follow, the director whom he/she sees daily, or the instructor seen on a weekly basis. Assignments may even conflict in this situation. What is a student to do? How can the private instructor simplify the learning and decision making process in this equation while retaining the integrity of their own methodology?
I'm a trumpet player and music teacher setting out in this blog to help other Trumpeters, Music Enthusiasts, Music Educators, and aspiring professionals reach their highest potential in life through the study and cultivation of musical skills.