Going beyond music lessons to shape student’s lives

I sent a survey out to my studio this past week. Among a pile of great feedback and static, I found an obvious, but really helpful insight. Parents want personalization for their children.

As with any premium service or luxury product, customization is not only desired, it’s expected. If only I could spend hours each week thinking about each of my students and how to take them to the next level. The more I offer highly personalized services, events or opportunities to curate their child’s path, the more parents respond with an emphatic “Yes!”

I can empathize with the driving pain for this desire that almost all parents have at their core.

Am I raising my child correctly?

At the end of the day, no one knows what is absolute or best. Studies can lead us down one rabbit hole or another. But this is what I have found from interacting with hundreds of families, as cliche as it sounds – love is all you need.

A music educator is one knot within a net of people who love and care for a child as they grow up. As I’ve said in past blogs, music educators have a moral obligation to maintain our support for each child.

Personalization is a way to show this love and lessons shouldn’t be the only time to deliver it.

When a parent calls to cancel her sick daughter’s lesson at the last minute, I can choose to be upset or I can send them a Hello Kitty e-card that has her name and says feel better. We all make choices everyday.

What if we created multimedia portfolios for each student of their recordings, recital and event photos and theory presentations? What if students could work together and compete in curated experiences like a Pianolympics or a Music Scavenger Hunt? What if they could all work together to plant a garden for a local retirement home?

How would these experiences affect them? How would parents react when they see their children jumping for joy as they claim gold in the Pianolympics or give a veteran in a retirement home a tour of the garden they planted?

Music is just the start. The personalized perspective that we create through love may be our greatest gift to our students.


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