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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000287.txt from 1998/04

From: Anne Benassi <>
Subj: Re: lesson motivation
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 04:56:12 -0400

One thing that just occurred to me on the motivation issue is the use of
chamber music. I wonder why it didn't occur to me immediately. After ten
years' teaching I have done just fine with private lessons, but the thing
that makes music come alive for my students is playing with others.
Anything from duos and trios with their colleagues to clarinet choir gives
them a notion of why-we-are-all-at-this-anyhow. There is a sense of
camaraderie as well as a gentle and not-too-overt sense of competition that
results; the students get a good chance to learn about intonation
first-hand; they are exposed to literature (both original and transcribed)
which they might not get to know otherwise; and those who play in a chamber
group are often more rather than less available for other things that I may
ask them to do. The work that we do in our private lessons gets a practical
application in chamber music lessons/rehearsals, and they think it's just
plain fun. Anne Benassi

At 21:53 6.4.1998 EDT, you wrote:
>On Mon, 6 Apr 1998 11:49:13 -0400 (EDT) dap@-----. Paprocki)
>>This is to all the teachers and professors on the list. What
>>techniques do
>>you use to motivate your students? How do you objectively judge your
>>students in order to grade them?
>I teach private lessons free-lance, and as such do not grade my students,
>but I can discuss the motivation idea. I think the idea of teaching or
>installing motivation is very problematic. We can *facilitate*
>motivation, i.e. lead the horse to water by suggesting music for
>listening, demonstrate what a beautiful tone sounds like (a pox on
>teachers who don't (or can't) play!), etc. By showing the way to overcome
>technical problems we can hopefully remove frustrations that are
>But if someone is really fundamentally not interested, what duty do we
>have to somehow *make* them interested? How would we do it in any case?
>When a student doesn't practice, we owe it to them to discuss what is
>standing in their way, and if it's a technical matter offer advise, but
>if they don't practice they can't progress, and we can't make them

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