Making sure students know the exact expectations of their music teachers is one of the top priorities at music lessons.  If a student leaves the lesson unclear on what to do at home, disaster can strike.  At best, their practicing will be unfocused and maybe even nonexistent.  The worst case scenario is they actually practice something incorrectly, learn a section wrong, and build a damaging technical habit.

There is a method for creating clear communication that can easily be used by music teachers.  This method can be utilized when talking with music students and when writing in students’ Musician’s Practice Planner books.

The method is simple: Make sure your communication is coherent, compelling, and comprehensive.  This is known as CCC Communication.

Let’s look at each of the three C’s:

1.  Coherent: It should be clear what the student should do as they play at the lesson and as they practice at home.  If you’re a music teacher, ask your student if what you’ve written in their Musician’s Practice Planner is clear to them.  For very young students, make sure directions are clear to the parent.

2.  Compelling: Make it interesting!  There must be motivation on the student’s part to achieve the teacher’s goals.  If all the practicing seems boring to the student, very little will be accomplished.

3.  Comprehensive:  Communication needs to cover all areas that students are likely to have questions about during the time in between lessons.  By being as thorough as possible, and by anticipating questions from students, teachers can help students gain a more complete understanding of what it is they’re accomplishing.  And, students absolutely must feel they’ve accomplished something when they get through a specific goal–that there’s some sense of completion or victory.

The CCC Communication model can be adopted by all music teachers and expected by all music students.  If you are an adult beginner student, this level of communication will be very important for you.  You can ask your teacher to be more clear and thorough and to give you interesting material to practice.

Coherent.  Compelling.  Comprehensive.  Give it a try!

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