Piano Belloso Music Studio

Roles & Responsibilities

Many people, including teacher's themselves, believe that most if not all the responsibility for achieving educational objectives rests solely with the instructor. The teacher is expected to provide not only the method and structure for the child's development, but the discipline, inspiration, and motivation to sustain the student through the entire week. Such an expectation is not only impossible to meet but absurd.

Piano teachers typically get about 30-60 minutes per week of face-time with students. How on earth are we supposed to have any control over the remaining 6 days and 23+ hours?

Here at Piano Belloso Music Studio, a three-way partnership has been put into effect with the acknowledgement that the student, parent(s), and teacher all act as a TEAM. That is what achieves results, and through this partnership, students flourish. 

I often describe this partnership as a well-run restaurant....

 The "Supplier" - Providing Quality Ingredients

The "Supplier" - Providing Quality Ingredients

Teacher

My role in the restaurant analogy is that of a supplier. I source and provide the best quality ingredients, so that "chefs" can take those ingredients and make their "culinary masterpiece."  

 The "Manager" - Bringing organization and discipline

The "Manager" - Bringing organization and discipline

Parent

Parents play a much more important and active role in my studio than in what some might experience elsewhere; but this is because they are an essential piece in the three-way partnership. 

Going back to the restaurant analogy, parents are the restaurant manager, overseeing the day-to-day activities of both the supplier and chef(s). They bring discipline and organization into a place that could pretty easily descend into chaos without an elevated perspective.

 The "Chef" - Creating a masterpiece

The "Chef" - Creating a masterpiece

Student

Students are the "chef." And the "kitchen" is where the real magic happens - which is at home every week after the lesson. Without the quality ingredients, the meals might be sub-par, but without the chef's active and diligent creativity in preparing the food, a restaurant would be lost. 

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The Teacher

As the METHOD COACH, I'm responsible for imparting the concepts and skills during class that are necessary for students to do the processing and learning at home each week.

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Provide instruction appropriate for the level of the class.
  • Be prepared in advance and ready to begin each class on time.
  • Be enthusiastic and patient during lessons.
  • Maintain open communication with students and parents.
  • Offer abundant opportunities for students to share their musical talent.

While I believe my coaching and mentoring can impact students far beyond the lesson itself, I never presume to be the sole inspiration and motivation for a student's practice at home. That responsibility rests with the student themselves and/or with their parent(s).

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Education, like neurosis, begins at home.
— Milton Sapirstein

Parents

In the Simply Music program, Parents are called “Life Coaches” and are held accountable for supporting and encouraging the child’s progress both during lessons and in the time between lessons (which is when the real magic happens). Parents operating as a “Life Coach” are expected to:

  • Actively participate in each lesson and class discussions.
  • Provide an environment at home conducive to successful practice/playing sessions.
  • Commit to a long-term relationship with piano lessons and a structured practice schedule at home.
  • Ensure that all assignments are completed, and that the playlist is maintained. (It is not necessary to actively engage in every practice session; however, parents should be available to offer help and support, particularly when using the student home materials.)
  • Read all studio communications for important studio-related information.
  • Utilize the studio’s website to access necessary information.
  • Familiarize yourself with all guidelines and studio policies.

It's important to note that students ages 16 and up are considered “Adults” in terms of their responsibilities. As such, they are expected to be their own “life coach” or find someone capable of fulfilling that role for them.

Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.
— Nadia Boulanger

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Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it’s a shield.
— Brene Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection

The Student

A student's "job" is two-fold:

  1. During the lesson, absorb and interact with the teaching environment, with as little distraction as possible.
  2. After the lesson is the time to "process" the learning materials you have received. It is during this time at home that the "real" lesson happens.

I'm sure you have heard the saying,

Practice makes perfect

Although there's some truth to the original proverb ("Use makes mastery"), a student should never make perfection the over-riding goal or focus of their practice as this can be a frustrating and self-critical cycle of thought that destroys creative energy and is ultimately very ineffective.

Instead, concentrate on moving from one small, clearly defined action to next, as directed by your teacher (or life coach). Within the structure of each lesson, tangible goals will be carefully defined and clarified. This is how we achieve results. And it is those results that others perceive as "perfection." 

Students will benefit most from their lessons by adhering to these guidelines:

  • Maintain a “coach-able” attitude - understanding that you are here to learn, not to teach
  • Maintain your playlist as directed by your teacher, with the help of your "life coach."
  • Bring all relevant materials (assignment notes, playlist, etc.) to class each week.
  • Practice 15–20 minutes per day, 5–6 days per week. After the first year, this typically increases to 30-35 minutes per day.
  • Decide upon a regular, scheduled practice time, and practice at that same time every day.