Training children to deal with criticism

Though music teachers often focus on the positive aspects of a student’s playing, private lessons typically involve a great deal of critique and suggestions for improvement. Teachers level with students and constructively criticize the student’s performance. For example, teachers may reveal that a student is rushing the tempo, his/her strumming is a little off, the dynamics are a little flat, etc., and a student must accept and apply such feedback in order to improve. This results in music students learning at an early age to regularly accept advice and feedback from others. They discover first hand the value of implementing that advice and come back each week ready for more. As students con

Training children to cope with pressure

Adults typically understand that pressure is a daily part of professional life regardless of the career we choose. Music students are in the unusual position of having to confront pressure at an early age and having to confront it often. This early exposure to dealing with pressure gives music students a priceless advantage. Why? Because when these students confront pressure as an adult, it will feel like a familiar sparring partner rather than a portent of doom. They face high-stress situations and defeat them in countless recitals, concerts, workshops and lessons. Music students learn to use pressure and stress as a motivator rather than letting it sabotage their best performances. They le

Instructor Alayna Cate answers a few questions about herself and lessons at Music Lessons of Indiana

Tell us about your musical development. When did you begin certain instruments and what prompted you to choose certain instruments to learn? I was 4 years old when I started taking piano lessons. I actually got into music because of my older brother. I wanted to do everything like him, so once he started piano, I had to get started as well. From there, I fell in love then did all kinds of musical activities growing up. In middle school I joined the band and played clarinet. In high school, I played clarinet in the concert and marching bands, and then decided to go into college for music education. During my college years I really wanted to learn more instruments, so I joined several ensemble

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