Let’s talk about goal setting. Not the kind of goal setting you do for your business, your individual students or even your own practice. This is a step up from those kind of goals.
Why do you teach? I mean sure, because you love education, love music, love working with kids/teenager/adult students. But what is the purpose behind your teaching? If you had to pick one goal for all your students (and all the students you will ever teach), what would it be?
Chew on that for a sec. It’s a question that needs some careful deliberation.
Choosing the one goal of your piano studio
You probably have tons of goals for each of your students – ranging from the micro to the macro. You may want Susie to play her first Sonatina or Michael to master the B major scale.
And that’s great. I’m glad you’re thinking ahead for your students and planning for their musical future. But what about after they stop lessons with you, what then?
Do you want…
…to prepare them to attend a music conservatory?
…to enable them to become church or gigging musicians?
…to provide them with the side benefits that piano provides – dexterity, pattern recognition, grit?
…to open them the joy that only music making can give?
Having this conversation with yourself and picking just one overarching goal for your piano studio will do as much for you as it will for your students. It can give you clarity and focus for all the other mini decisions you make along the way.
When you know your big why it bleeds into business, studio and individual student decisions. Knowing the goal of your piano studio can stop you from feeling overwhelmed by choices. It enables you to make faster, smarter and less stressful decisions each and every day of your teaching career.
My Big Why
I want my students to have music as a wonderful escape for the rest of their lives.
I want them to enjoy playing Beatles arrangements on a Sunday afternoon. Or maybe tackle a some classics in little bits and pieces around their day jobs. Or get together and jam with friends two nights a week. I want music to be included in their life in a way that makes them happier and more fulfilled.
Knowing this influences so much of what I do.
- I don’t push my students to learn pieces they don’t like. I think choosing your own musical adventure makes you more likely to become a lifelong musician.
- I place a strong emphasis on practicing skills – they’ll need these to continue playing after their studies with me have finished.
- I go at each students individual pace and don’t worry if that happens to be a slow one. They have their whole lives to get “better”.
I could go on but I think you get the idea. If I get stuck or find myself fixating on an issue, I can always ask myself: “Well, will this help my student to have a lifelong love of playing the piano?”
What do you want for your students?
Is the overarching goal of your piano studio similar to mine? Do you use your goals the way I do, to help clarify your decisions and choices?
I’d love to hear what you think on this big why concept in the comments or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook.