When I first started teaching, I took over a studio of eight students that was left by someone who moved away. From day one, I was shocked that students in my new studio would walk into their lesson as the other student walked out and had no awareness of the other student. It was like the other student in the studio did not exist. These are students who have seen each other for months or years on a weekly basis and didn’t even have an idea of the other student’s name.
Fast-forward to today and what we have in our studio, of over 60 students, is a culture that promotes community and sees learning as a collaborative and personal process.
My students often have play dates, make projects together, talk between lessons, and see our recitals or studio events as a highlight in their month. We have cultivated a learning environment that allows for a greater probability of success for students. Concerts, events, presentations and projects are their opportunity to challenge themselves, face their fears and learn from failure.
Together, students learning music in our studio will make friendships and connections that will forever change their future.
Are we only teaching our students how to play an instrument and create music?
or more directly,
Are we morally responsible as music educators to cultivate a learning environment that allows our students to grow into their brightest possible future?