This year I’ve been growing in my ability to distinguish teaching music vs. managing behavior the classroom. Here’s what I mean:
Students in music classes are learning about unfamiliar concepts. They’re learning new repertoire, new notes, new fingerings, and other aspects of music they’ve never considered before. And along the way, students are learning how to behave in a rehearsal.
As music teachers, we’ve got to learn how to manage all of the above; the learning and the behavior.
This year, as I’ve been learning to recognize the difference between those two issues, I’ve become more determined about two principles:
1. I will be quick to stop student behavior that interrupts the learning.
2. I will be quick to help students who put in the effort to become better musicians.
To put it more simply, I won’t belittle students for playing wrong notes, but I will reprimand a student for disrespectful behavior. I’m trying to demonstrate patience in the process of learning, and intolerance with disruptions.
This is all in the interest of the music. I’m trying to teach my students when we get past the behavior issues, we can really give our attention to learning to play music.
Does any of this resonate with you?