Here is a phrase I find myself use more and more lately with my students:
“I think you are ready for…”
Imagine me saying it with plenty of enthusiasm. This phrase comes in handy in a number of circumstances, such as:
- “Wow, you’ve got all your 5-finger patterns learned, so I think you are ready to start scales!”
- “You are playing each hand’s part so well…now you are ready to put hands together!”
- “Great, I think you are ready to bump up the tempo!”
- “I think Johnny is ready for 45-minute lessons!”
Watch your student (and his/her parent) swell with pride at that last one. Saying that line sure beats a conversation that sounds like you are trying to justify or talk the parent into switching from 30- to 45-minute lessons.
It’s all in how you present it. Learning scales or bumping up the tempo might at first seem like a chore, but presenting the next new challenge as an acknowledgement of their accomplishments and hard work can help motivate students for the next thing. They’ve worked their way to this point, after all, and they should be proud of it!
So, try it! And let me know what other circumstances you think of for using this phrase. :)