Author Topic: A Parent's Enthusiasm  (Read 2157 times)


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A Parent's Enthusiasm
« on: January 24, 2013, 09:50:40 AM »
I want to share something that has happened recently with the mother of one of my newest students. To put the story in perspective, I need to share some history with another student.

I began working with Nathan in the third grade. He had studied with two previous teachers, neither of which was well trained. As a result, Nathan could not read music very well, and his playing resembled the entry of data into a computer. And like a computer, Nathan's performances included that constant use if the backspace key!

Nathan had come to me with little ambition of hoping to accomplish anything. Piano lessons were something one did in his house, and he politely obeyed his parents' wishes. I frankly did not have a lot of hope for Nathan at first.

I switched Nathan to Artistry at the Piano with a challenge to pursue music with the same standard of excellence he showed in his schoolwork. At first, he lacked any ambition to do so. When I sought to develop artistry in his playing, he would look at me as if to say, "Why would anyone care about doing that? Isn't the goal just to push the right buttons at the right time?"

It took three years for Nathan to begin to have any desire for musical artistry. One day, almost out of the blue, he suddenly caught on to what I had been trying to teach him. His playing began to take on a whole new depth of musical sensitivity, something that came to the attention of his parents.

The mother of my other new students, Karen and Catherine, was friends with Nathan's parents. Nathan's mother began bragging about what I had been doing with Nathan. She showed K & C's mother the Artistry books that Nathan had, which was only levels 1&2. (I did say he had little ambition!) The mother could not wait to have her daughters study with me.

I have only had Karen and Catherine for a couple of months, but their playing showed an immediate improvement. At first, they questioned almost everything I said, but they soon realized the importance of paying attention to the details I was working with. Their playing has taken on a new depth of artistry even though they are just early elementary students.

The mother has become a walking billboard for my studio! I cannot possibly take on all the students who have sought me out as a result of her comments to her friends! 

The encouraging thing for me is that there still are students out there who want to develop excellence in music. Artistry is helping me to achieve that goal with them.

Kevin Coan