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How to Be A Good Music Teacher (From a Music Student)

Unfortunately or fortunately, I have experienced the cliche, terrible music classes, as a child. Screaming and crying before these lessons were a memorable part of my childhood and I look back and recall how vehemently opposed I was to these classes.

As I grew up, I realised that this was a universal experience.

Apparently, every friend of mine has also experienced this hurdle before music lessons when tantrums and rackets would rain down on strict parents. But what about the music lessons made me want to avoid them as badly as I did? To put it quite frankly, I cannot quite remember. Perhaps it was being forced to learn something I hadn’t properly developed an interest in. Perhaps it was rebellion and not wanting to listen to my parents. Perhaps it was not understanding why learning music was so important. Regardless, I simply despised the idea of it.

Now, after all these years, I can think of many ways these lessons could have been more interesting and more engaging for me. Maybe this can also help music teachers make these lessons more enjoyable and less, to put bluntly, traumatic.

Firstly, increasing friendly interaction. While I now understand that it may be awkward to make small talk and even become somewhat friends with one’s students, I believe that it would break the ice and make lessons better. This kind of friendly interaction could make music lessons something a child looks forward to, instead of dreads.

Secondly, not focusing on results. Many parents often enrol their children in music lessons for the purpose of getting them to take music exams. ABRSM exams, Trinity exams and so on. As such, most of these lessons are sometimes geared solely towards doing well in these exams. Of course, this takes most of the fun out of learning an instrument and even adds too much pressure on young children.

To end, I would say the most important takeaway from this is to put the child’s enjoyment first. After all, it is their childhood and doing these things can help them develop a better relationship with music.

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