I often have parents reach out to me about practice habits. I LOVE this because I am all about working within the parent/student/teacher triangle to problem solve! In the past couple years, one of the main practice problems actually seems to be an outside factor … students are drawn to their screens. And as I’m not a parent, and I also feel the pull to be on screens a huge chunk of the day (although I hope I have a little more self-control than my students), I don’t even begin to pretend to have all the answers for this.
The curious thing for me is that several of the same parents who have expressed a difficulty with monitoring the kid’s screen time also buy their kids more technology for Christmas. And I get it. The coolest new gadget makes the wish list, and sometimes it’s hard to know what else to buy them!
So this year I got to thinking … what if I offered some gift ideas for my students? I fully expect my students to get the newest play station, the hottest iPhone, or the intriguing virtual reality headset. But sometimes suggestions are all it takes, and can be a welcome change to the monotony of electronic commercials that barrage us this time of year 🙂
I sent out a flyer in last week’s student newsletter with some rather realistic expectations … Do I expect every student to get a new piano this year? Absolutely not. Will they all invest in helping a full-time artist (especially during this crazy COVID world right now)? No. Some of my students hate reading, so the whole buy a book and learn something new isn’t where their parents turn for Christmas gifts. But if ONE student gets a new instrument because their parents realize there’s a need – well, that’s win in my book! And if ONE of my studio families gets to experience a livestream concert and talk to the artist in a meet and greet – well, I’m doing a happy dance! And if ONE student learns more about the history behind music – well, I’ve done my job!
This Christmas season I am offering this same flyer for you to use however best suits your studio. I would love to hear that your students are experiencing more music because you gave a simple, open ended prompt for meaningful Christmas gifts this year 🙂
Happy Christmas Shopping,