Over breakfast this morning a quote caught my eye:
Are young musicians prepared to make the most of their lessons? Some are. But many are not, because, through no fault of their own, they’re unclear about their roles as students
Clearly, the author(*) is talking about musicians, and not all Alexander students are musicians.
But all Alexander students are students.
Yes, really. Every last one. And some students will be getting more out of their lessons than others.
So why is that? And, more importantly, what can BiteSize do to help? Well, I’m going to start with the most basic of ideas, and work from there.
1. Have you realised that you are a student?
Just this fact comes as a shock to many new Alexandroids. They expect to turn up to lessons and have pleasant, relaxing things done to them. Or to be told what to do and how to do it. They don’t expect to think, and they certainly don’t expect to think for themselves.
2. Have you considered ‘more or less’?
Many people seem to just accept what the lesson brings. From this point, the simple idea of looking at how much you get from each lesson, and considering whether it is possible to get more, is a huge leap forward.
3. Who teaches, and who learns?
The teacher’s job is to teach (and to make sure she teaches well). The student’s job is to learn. Sounds obvious – but how many people blindly assume that the teacher does the whole lot? No teacher can learn for the student. You have to do that bit yourself.
Every lesson I teach contains enough material to keep the student busy for at least ten days. How much of that are you taking home with you; and how much are you leaving behind on the teaching room floor?
(*) Gerald Klickstein in ‘The Musician’s Way Blog’. His blogs are a great resource for any musician who really wants to improve. I find that he tackles the ‘unspoken’ topics, the ones most music educators expect students to absorb from thin air, in a practical and helpful way. This particular post is 90% applicable to non-musicians as well. http://musiciansway.com/blog/2010/09/making-the-most-of-music-lessons/