I had another opportunity to find great musical education happening this week. This time, to my great delight, it was my oldest son Zach. He is the executive director of the Academy of Rock here in Lincoln, and I had the chance to watch him work with some middle school boys.
The first thing I look for in a music educator is to check whether they are actually engaging their students. Zach had an immediate rapport with the kids. He was energetic and encouraging.
After hearing them play, he immediately complimented them on what they did well. This is a great best practice for any young educator.
When it comes to problems, here is my ideal.
1. Quickly assess the problem.
2. Explain the problem
3. Demonstrate the right way to do it
4. Let the student try to do it
5. Provide tools and strategies for improvement
I saw all of that, and then he even wrapped up the session by talking about an upcoming performance and how to deal with any stage fright that might be encountered.
I might be biased, but I saw some fabulous educating happening, and I always like to praise that when I see it.