–Motivation: This is defined by the student and how much the student is willing to trust their teaching. I have struggled throughout my career to be continually motivated to pursue music as a career. It takes a lot of determination and self-pride to be successful. You basically have to be a pretty selfish human being on some levels. Kohut breaks this into different sub sections as well which I will discuss briefly.For me personally I have a on-going goal set to make professional recordings of solo euphonium as a woman because it hasn’t been done enough. I also have been complimented every time I play for a professional about my sound and I have been informed on many occasions that I have a very unique euphonium sound; so I want to share my sound with the world. I also believe that continually educating myself for my own knowledge and for my students. Teaching is a way to give back all the knowledge and music secrets that my mentors have shared with me. All of this knowledge means a lot to me and I want to share it with others.
~Internal and External motivation: internal comes from the student and external comes from the teacher or incentives. The students that have internal motivation are sometimes easier to teach because they want to reach a goal. Students that need external motivation turn that into internal motivation. This varies between each student.
~Common Causes of poor student motivation- I completely disagree with Kohut when he basically blames the teacher for the students not being motivated. Some students believe that music was fun in high school let me do that in college and they have no idea what they are signing up for. So how are we supposed to motivate students that make a poor decision and are unwilling to put in the time in the practice room. Why would you blame the teacher and the teacher’s personality? What about some students don’t work well with some teachers? I have a student at Mitchell that has only had two lessons since the semester has began and she skipped masterclass that was at 8am and then showed up for her lesson at 9am looking like she just rolled out of bed. I cancelled her lesson because she was obviously going to waste my time and didn’t even apologize to me. So according to Kohut this makes me a bad teacher? I don’t believe so my other student is so excited she is attending the International conference with the UNCG studio this summer. Unfortunately, the music business is a cut-throat business and if you don’t want to work hard and motivate yourself you will be eaten alive and quit. I know a lot of people that have quit the business.
–Competition- This is a highly interesting subject and I believe that students should enter competitions if they have interest in the competition. Competitions should NOT be forced on any student. I am competing my second competition this year. I have not competed in the past because I felt unstable as a musician and did not want to compete. I am also doing this competition to learn more about myself as a musician, person, competitor and for my students in the future. I want to be able to describe the competitions to them from the stand point that they will be in some day. Kohut describes the competition from different perspectives which I thoroughly enjoyed.
–Achieving High Performance Standards- This is a very simple task,but it is hard to execute and motivate your students to strive for this. For instance, some students believe that they already play awesome and they don;t need to practice to get better. This is when I turn on the recording device and have a reality check. I also encourage students to check out a wide variety of recordings that are very high quality because it helps to enhance their own perception of high performance quality. I have a certain go to videos that I always assign new students. If they aren’t motivated after these listenings then we have some other things to talk about. I try to relate the high performance standard to professionals and how students should always strive to be the best that they really want to be. i encourage students to check and seek out current active performing professionals. This is also a reflection of whom I am as a performer that I am always seeking out different teachers feedback on my own performances and teaching.
–Being Intense vs. Being “Laid Back”: Both of these concepts have a place in the classroom, but he teacher has to decide when these perspectives are appropriate. The dress of a teacher is important ,but sometimes it is good for your students to know that you are a average day person that goes to the grocery store and that you mow the yard etc. So my point is that if you go to work on occasion in jeans and a nice shirt that is okay. I also believe that being intense is needed in classroom because it helps the students develop their own intensity in their practice room and performance. I have been told that I am a very intense person so I am currently striving to be more laid back and I also take a anxiety prescription to help this as well. I think it is completely okay to teach from both perspectives and that you should be aware of who you are as a educator.