Hey! Below are some common-sense tips that will help students get the most out of private lessons.
12 Simple Steps to Sensational Private Lessons! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
- Practice. Treat private lessons like an important class. Carefully and completely do your homework = LOTS OF GREAT DAILY PRACTICE!
- Warm Up. Warm up thoroughly before the lesson.
- Be Early. Show up 5 minutes early to the lesson with instrument “ready to go” and wait patiently outside your teacher’s studio door.
- No Beeps, Buzzers or Bells. Turn off cell phone and other gizmos during the lesson and while waiting patiently outside the studio door.
- “I’m late, I’m late….” Don’t be late to a lesson, but if you are running late [like the White Rabbit in Alice], send a text to your teacher immediately.
- LISTEN! Be eager to listen and learn from the teacher. The point of lessons is to learn how to play the instrument better. Lessons are not meant for you to play the entire time. If the teacher makes no comments, you didn’t get a lesson!
- COURTESY! Always treat the teacher with respect and courtesy, even if you don’t feel well or the teacher is cranky – you are taking lessons to get better on the instrument, NOT to hang out with a “buddy.”
- Write It Down. After the lesson, write down what was discussed, assignments, etc. Keeping a notebook for lessons is a great idea.
- Lock It In. Make a point to practice at least a little after the lesson. This will help “lock in” what was taught.
- Practice Wisely. Make sure you practice all that the teacher assigns in the way that the teacher has directed you.
- Do Extra. Show initiative and do extra work in your lesson preparation. For example, if your teacher assigns you to listen to a recording of a work, listen to 3 recordings.
- Practice Log. Keep a practice log of all practicing. Putting it on your wall or near your work desk will remind you to practice.
BONUS: Steps Ahead. Remember that your private lesson teacher may be writing a letter of recommendation for you in the future. So please follow these guidelines.