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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000728.txt from 2000/07

From: "Patricia Smith" <>
Subj: [kl] student practice and work; was [kl] enthused musings upon Mozart Concerto
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 23:59:23 -0400

Jay, a lot of what you say makes a great deal of sense to me. Especially
about wanting them to play things correctly and learn proper playing habits.
I was recently given some good advice that i will pass on to anyone in need
of it:
In each lesson, give the student something she or he can do that they can
take away from the lesson. That sort of personal achievement can help them
through the rough spots when you are asking them to do new things.
This one is from me:
I find that i have to teach them HOW to practice, how to break down the
piece as a whole into parts, into sections, phrases, even measures, if need
be. If we have to work on the band music, fine. Sometimes, the kid just
wants to be able to hold his/her own up against others who probably don't
play all that much better, they just have bigger egos. I currently have a
student with whom I am taking this approach, as we only have a few weeks to
work together (her father only has custody for the summer). It has been a
challenge to help her discover what she really can do and at the same time
make a needed embouchure change (BTW, she is a saxophone student).
OTOH, I have another "just for the summer" whose negative, know-it-all
attitude is a put-off, except for the fact she really just needs someone to
challenge her with higher expectations. This kind is a lot more difficult
to teach, as I personally find the attitude down right revolting. I just
keep challenging her.
Hang in there Jay; you are doing well to have high standards.
Patty Smith

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