Our team meets up every month, to brainstorm, explore, dig deep and generally keep our teaching tools and resources at the highest possible standard. Recently, we had a very different conversation. Because we are so busy and our time is limited, it has become apparent we can’t just coach piano to everyone and anyone! If we did, we would need to clone ourselves 10 times over and we wouldn’t have any time to practice piano ourselves.
I believe that in our precious limited time, we should spend time with people we want to be around. Life is too short to spend with people who reduce your values or who don’t challenge you to become the best you can be. Sure it’s great to have a busy diary, but the quality of time and thought has always been far more important to us than just exchanging time for a paycheck.
In our conversation we thought of the students we work with that brought us the most satisfaction and enjoyment who have also seen incredible progress. When we shared our answers with each other, we found lots of common values and words to describe these super-students!
By the way, none of these common traits were related to “natural musical talent who practices 5 hours a day” So you can rule that one out! That is the answer for a lazy teacher. We are instead in the work of mutual collaboration
The common traits we found in our most satisfying students were the following:
Self Driven, Friendly, Humble & Collaborative,
Happy to challenge us & themselves,
Knows what they want to do, Independent and Curious,
Emotionally Involved, Action Takers
Without knowing, it was as if we had set a blueprint for what makes a successful adult piano student, though in some cases this also applies to children.
None of our notes said, “highly talented person who practices 5 hours a day”. Let’s be honest, such a person doesn’t exist, and we also noticed a commonality in our best students was that there were extremely busy with their professional and personal life, so practice is not always an easy thing to fit in.
Despite that, it’s these binding personal traits, such as being driven and curious that mattered more than just how much practice is done.
When you combine the decades of teaching and coaching that our team has carried out over the years, I think you can confidently say, that these 7 points are the determining factors of a successful and highly stimulating and satisfying success at playing piano, and maybe it can be universally adapted to other areas of life?
Speaking of curiosity, here is one of the latest video we released on how to play the Blues, featuring Alberto Ferro, who was present out our think tank! Alberto Ferro: Step by Step Blues Improvisation Tutorial