14. April 2010 · Comments Off on Truth · Categories: Other People's Words, Ramble

One of my favorite things about teaching music is that there is no cheating. It simply isn’t possible. No one else can practice for you, or learn rhythms for you, or learn to read music for you, or learn how to produce a fabulous sound for you.

I really enjoyed this post by Tenly. It’s so true!

I am so thankful I don’t have to worry about cheating in my job. Students have been known to lie, mind you. Some say “Yes, I practiced!” and then can’t even figure out what page to turn to. A student will turn back and forth, looking quizzically at the music, puzzling over what to play. That’s usually a pretty good clue that no practicing took place. After our typical warm up and scales routine I’ll tell a student to get out whatever lesson book we are using. Sometimes a student has the gall to say, “What page?” I usually respond, “I don’t know … you tell me!” I once had a student play an entire page of music before realizing that wasn’t the assigned music and “wasn’t what I practiced.”

I really get frustrated with lying. I would rather — although of course I’m dismayed by this — hear a student say honestly, “I didn’t practice.” At least that’s honest.

Another funny thing I’ve encountered — it happens nearly all the time, actually: I have a students play an A-440 long tone, without letting them see the tuner. After they finish, I will turn the tuner to sound and let them hear a true A-440. I then ask, “Where were you?” So far, not one has ever said, “I think I nailed it!” … and some really do nail it! (Some of my students have excellent pitch.)

So while students aren’t comfortable being honest about not practicing, they also aren’t comfortable saying “Hey, that was spot on!” Go figure. 😉

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