As part of checking in with their goals and progress, I was having a chat last week to two of my longer-serving students about my role as a teacher. They were surprised to hear that, ultimately, my job is to put myself out of a job! It might seem like a strange business goal to have but it cuts to the heart of why I love teaching the way I do. As I state at the bottom of each newsletter I send, my goal is to give music lovers the skills and understanding to creatively explore their passion through playing, composing and listening. So, why do I want to put myself out of a job?
I want each of my students to one day be fully self-sufficient in their learning. To be able to hear a song they love, and play their own version by working it out through the use of their ears and their knowledge of theory. To pick up a sheet of their favourite song and to be able to learn in a methodical way that allows them to solve their own problems as they arise. To be asking themselves, "How can I improve this?" rather than relying on someone else telling them what to do. To be willing to experiment with ten different options and to choose the one that suits them best. To be focused on the effort to improve rather than the result.
The absolute worst case scenario I can imagine is that you stop playing music the day you stop piano lessons.
The good news for me is that I'm yet to find a student who doesn't have more to learn, so perhaps this business model might succeed after all!
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: