Teachers - has there ever been a student of yours who seems to be going nowhere, or worse - de-progressing? And it is a student with ability - you can see it during the lesson. They can play music - and play it very well, in fact! It could be an issue with practicing, motivation, self-confidence - a number of factors. Sometimes it helps to have a nice "heart-to-heart" discussion with a student to see what is going on with them.
There are few things more fustrating as a music teacher than seeing a student with potential going nowhere with their music. It is no fun for anybody! The student often feels uncomfortable during the lesson, the teacher feels ineffective, the parents may start wondering exactly what it is they are paying for...
With a few students of mine I had a period of time where I felt like I did lots of "lecturing" and not very much teaching. There was really nothing else to do during the lesson - they either weren't practicing, or weren't practicing the way I had asked them to. I tried my best to stay positive, but it is difficult to see a student slipping away like that. Then I realized I was doing a lot of guessing and assuming and getting myself all worked up about their attitudes, their non-practicing, etc. Once I stopped lecturing and started talking with them - things changed almost overnight!!!
As I was talking with one of the students - a beginner who had struggled for about 6 months just trying to get things going - I discovered they did not realize that there was an element of responsibility on their part for them to have success with the lessons. It is a baffling thing to a music teacher to think that a student was not aware of any type of effort they had to put forth on their part! Once this student realized they had a "job" to do for the lessons, things changed overnight and they started feeling success, positivity and confidence with their music ability. This "heart-to-heart" discovery has helped me to notice this missing responsibility element in other students and help them take charge of their lesson destiny sooner.
Many other great discoveries have happened since I took less of a "lecturing" attitude and more of a "talking with the students" approach. It is fun to share these discoveries with the parents as well - sometimes they are surprised also - and sometimes they say "Well that sure sounds like my child!" Once these discoveries are made, positive changes happen with practicing, progress, and attitude of the student (and quite often the teacher, too!).