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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 continue in private lessons, they begin to ingrain a combination of self-improvement, hard work, receptiveness, and dedication into their character. Unfortunately, many children are not exposed to this process in the normal course of growing up. Parents want the best for their children, but too often today’s parents are either unaware or unable to give their child the gift of a lifelong love of music and the invaluable knowledge and skills learned through music lessons.

We like to make that opportunity available and flexible for today’s families. Why is the process of taking private lessons so valuable? Because it produces citizens who are willing to consider the views of others and who will know when to accept counsel from people who have demonstrated a greater mastery of a given subject.

They will be able to collaborate, self-evaluate, and refine their ideas in order to produce better results. In eight years of lessons students will constantly endure criticism that varies in severity based on student preparation. These one-on-one experiences with (sometimes harsh) critiques are unavoidable but also invaluable. The positive impact of this extends far beyond learning a musical instrument and will remain for a lifetime.

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