There were tears before my youngest student came into her lesson this week (her, not me!) and I was reminded of my responsibility as a teacher, especially to young children.
I have had many different teachers over the years, some good, some not so. I too have cried in singing lessons though unlike my student, my tears were sometimes during and after lessons. My tears were a result of, not in anticipation of a singing lesson.
Of all the instruments, the voice is undeniably the most personal, being an extension of ourselves. When we are critiqued, we cannot help but take it personally. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to create a safe space in my lessons, where students can feel free to make mistakes. I encourage mistakes! We all learn best from mistakes, it is from our mistakes that we grow. I will never tell a student off for making a mistake, my role is to provide encouragement, support and guidance.
As for my tearful student this week, her mother and I managed to coax her into her lesson using good old fashioned bribery. She chose to sing all her favourite songs and I even learnt some new ones (Disney’s Descendants has some tunes!) It was a great lesson.