The First Lesson

There is never enough time in the first lesson. Think about all the things you would like to say and do. You could go on for hours! How do you get enough information into that little head to get them excited about music, motivated to work hard, and able to have a successful first practice week?

It's kind of a huge subject to tackle, because no two students are exactly alike in personality, learning style, background, or previously-acquired knowledge and skills. Maybe you have a 5-year old who has never had a music class, an 8-year old who has played the violin for 4 years, a teenager who has had years of piano lessons but stumbles through reading simple pieces (oh, that one hurts my heart), or an adult who nervously admits to always having wanted to play, but fearing it is too late to learn.

So, rather than specifically outlining exactly what you "should" say or teach in the first lesson, I'd like to give some broad guidelines. Whatever you do, remember that you don't have to do it all in the first lesson. Keep it simple, keep it fun, and be yourself.

I haven't talked about what technique, theory, or literature to cover in the first lesson. Those things differ so completely based on the student's age and experience that I hardly know where to begin. But you will know what to do, and if you don't, you'll make it up until you do. We all do that as teachers; the key is to do it with confidence!

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