Different students have different expectations for their music lessons. Some want help with their technique. Others need guidance on what music to learn. A small minority just wants reassurance that they’re on the right track.
No matter what you are looking for in your music lessons, make sure you are very clear on the Three Truths about music lessons that make them unique:
1. There will be someone watching you (and watching very intently).
2. Your teacher might cut you off at any time. You may or may not get to play everything you planned.
3. You will receive criticism about some aspect of your playing: tone, intonation, technique, posture, phrasing, etc. And, the target of the criticism might be surprising to you.
These three aspects of music lessons will be there at every lesson. They can’t be avoided.
The combination of these Three Truths can be unsettling for many music students. In no other situation will all three occur at the same time!
When you’re practicing, you’ll be alone. No one will be looking over your shoulder, and you get to decide how much to play.
At rehearsals you will usually be free from direct criticism about your playing.
In concert there are many people watching you, but you get to play all the way through your music. And, any criticism comes after the fact–not while you’re playing.
If you fully embrace the Three Truths, you will come to understand that they are what make music lessons valuable in the first place. Essentially, you are paying an expert to watch you and listen to you very closely. Then, they give you feedback you wouldn’t notice on your own.
Be ready to be watched at each and every lesson. And, accept the feedback from your teacher so you can improve faster than you would on your own.