I see you over there at the piano, fellow music teacher. Fretting over how well your students are doing, whether they will pass their exams, understand what you’re teaching, or if you’ve built enough confidence into them. I see you labouring over their repertoire choices to hit the not-too-hard-and-not-too-easy sweet spot; answering parent emails, putting in extra time to help with auditions, or comforting a student with a tough life situation.
It’s so easy to get bogged down. The hours can be long and the prep time even longer. The business side of things may frustrate you. There may be students you just don’t know how to connect with.
I’ll never forget the last conversation I had with my Dad. I was telling him about one of my students who I felt like I just couldn’t get through to. Any corrections were met with hostility and she seemed to want an adult friend more than a teacher. He said to me, “Kristen, you have to keep trying. You may have a lot of students, but that girl has only one voice teacher.”
That stuck with me. Even to this day almost 8 years later, those words come back to me when I’m feeling down. Over the years I’ve found that the students that I feel like I’m failing often turn out to be the ones who need me the most.
So fellow music teacher, take heart. You’re not alone. You’re doing good work. You may have a lot of students, but that student has only one you.