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Learn as you teach


I've always been amazed at how much I learn about stuff myself through teaching it in the first place. The simple process of communicating ideas and techniques to a student is not so simple when you try to do it. You need to have a deep enough understanding yourself to be able to explain with enough variety in approach to cater to all students' learning styles and levels of ability. You need to have answers to questions readily at hand, and if not, you need to be able to think on your feet and re-explain things in a more tailored and engaging fashion. This of course means you are explaining it to yourself as well, and if you can't do that, then how is anyone else going to get it?

As a piano teacher I am constantly reflecting on how I achieve certain musical tasks in order to best lead a student on their musical journey...from a simple fingering system to a more complex and deep emotional engagement with a piece. It requires a real look inwards sometimes and that can be both revealing and rewarding.

As a voice teacher, how do I go about singing...technique, musical approach, theoretical implications, dramatic implications...? How can you connect with a student for who the instrument is entirely enclosed within their body? You can't say "put that finger down" or "blow your trumpet a little harder", and if you start to blurt out overly scientific explanations and long words, eyes glaze over and little is achieved. Finding a straight-forward and simple to grasp explanation is not always easy, but with a little reflection is does come...

It is a constant comfort that there is so much still to learn, and each time I learn something new, it reveals an ever-increasing sea of knowledge waiting to be explored.

Good times!


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