The Most Important Thing I Want My Students to Learn as a Music Teacher
"What is the most important thing you want your students to learn before they move on and leave you?"

I asked this question in Freelance Music Teacher Moms, and there were some wonderful comments, so many musical skills teachers want their students to walk away with: practice skills, learning music they have never heard before, being able to read musical scores, etc.

Those are amazing things that teachers want their students to know! And they are all valuable. But the most important?

I would argue that across the board, the most important things I want my students to take away from my time with them are not actually musical. They're interpersonal skills, study skills, life skills:

How to be a good friend.
How to learn in the context of a group.
How to collaborate and work together well (regardless of if you like someone).
How to be on time.
How to accept constructive criticism.
How to give constructive criticism.
How to ask for help.
How to come prepared (bring your pencil or music needed).
How to walk onto the concert stage professionally.
How to respect a teacher/leader/parent/someone in authority, even if you sometimes disagree.
... And more.

Yes, I definitely want my students to learn how to sing and how to read a musical score! If they didn't increase in skill of those things during my time with them, I didn't do my job very well. But if my students picked up none of these other skills, I would consider that I perhaps failed at my job. I desire to be a mentor and guide for my students, setting a positive example and role model in all areas of life. I don't share tons of personal details with my students, but I also do not hide anything in my life from them either. I know from experience with my own musical mentors when I was growing up that setting this type of example and being this type of mentor can mean the world to students who really desire or need that guiding, whether it's one student or many. As my business mentor likes to say "It was never just about business." and the same can be said here: It was never just about singing/music/playing an instrument.

**** The picture above is an example of impact that I made on a hard-to-reach student who made this for me. I never would have expected this little gift and I treasure it.


So how would you answer that question: "What is the most important thing you want your students to learn before they move on and leave you?" I'd love to hear your thoughts and perspective.

Check out Myths About Teaching Freelance Debunked, Part 1 here!


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