A mom and I were having a conversation about the increase in practice time that I had asked of her children. It had been significant because they had big goals. She said that it had been working, that she and her husband had really heard progress in their music, and best of all, it had changed the student's perspective. Because they knew that they were going to be on the bench for awhile, they really dug in and did some hard work, rather than playing through the music and being satisfied. She thanked me. Can you believe it? She thanked me for asking more of her children. Then she smiled and said, "Practice makes perfect, right?"
One of the children on the couch sat up that moment and said, "That's not what Chris says. Chris says that practice makes BETTER." This is true, I do say that. I've never really heard myself quoted before however. It wiggled in my gut. Oh my.
There are so many influences on children these days. The research says that it still comes from home the most. But this is a realization that who you choose for other coaching matters too. We private teachers spend precious amounts of time one on one with your kids. I spend years, YEARS, with some of them. We go through middle school, braces, drivers permits, first dates and prom together. They end up on my Facebook-I play at their weddings. I am so blessed to be part of their lives.
I can't imagine choosing a teacher because the lesson time on Tuesday at 5:30 is available.
After the student had spoken, there was an awkward pause, the mom looked back to me in gratitude and said, "You're such an influence on my family." I smiled. May I always treat my relationships, especially with students, with care and compassion, even when I need to kick 'em in the pants.