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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a college music education major, and recently several local opportunities have opened up where I'm planning on teaching private lessons. Possibly I'll have studio at one of the local music stores (10-20 students), but I will definitely be teaching lessons at a local school district (beginners through high school, 5-15 students). Saxophone through the whole range of students, and beginner clarinet and flute.

The school where I'm teaching is planning on reimbursing the students/their parents $4ish per lesson, provided I consider the student consistently prepared, which I think is fantastic that the kids have that opportunity.

I've taught some before, but usually just high school students. I also perform at a high level and play publicly at assorted events. At the moment I'm looking at what's out there as far as lesson books and other materials, and also working on putting together a personal pedagogy of sorts that can compliment what the kids are already working on.

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips, personal antedotes, etc. regarding teaching lessons, especially for new teachers. (hey, we've all gotta start somewhere). Also, what good resources for lesson teachers out there? (I have gotten some through my CMENC and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia memberships).

Thanks!
 

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I would reccomend giving each of your students a CD of various saxophone players to listen to. I burned my old student a CD with Bird, Grover Washington Jr, Cannonball, Rousseau, and others. They probably do not have a lot of exposure to the instrument.
 

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Be Humble!

Play pieces with them.

Always stay calm and positive no matter what.

I think in teaching one of the most important things is your attitude. If you have an open, pleasant, but firm about what you want attitude you'll get the respect you deserve from them, and get results.

Also, remember that music is very personal, and not everyone will learn as fast as you or at the same pace at their peers. Some students may fly through whatever you give them while others will give obvious earnest effort, and spend two/three weeks struggling with the same assignment before they learn it.

Try not to compromise on how things are supposed to sound. Always strive for it to be the best it can be. It helps to talk with the students to make sure they understand everything they are playing well.

Also, talk with them and make sure you both have clear playing goals to work for, such as 'I want to be able to hit note X comfortably by next lesson' or 'I want to be able to play all my major scales by the end of next month.' Make sure they know what will help them to reach these goals

Have fun yourself too, this will be a learning expirience for YOU too! Teaching will really show you places where you can improve yourself, and show what you really know - or dont know. You may be suprised by what you learn about your playing!!
 

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One thing to keep in mind, especially with the young ones, Lessons are not all scales and technique!
Yes, you need to keep them challenged, but I keep a supply of 'just for fun' stuff. Disney, Broadway, and Film play along books are great for these kids.
They are learning Musicianship without even knowing it.
I have kids attempt to beat the teacher. They have to choose ANY piece of music from their school lesson book, sheet music folder, or technique book. They work on it for a week, and I have to sight read it. If they win, I bring Brownies to the next lesson. If I win, they're supposed to bring the Brownies. I've won a lot, but they forget to bring Brownies!!

Anyway, Good Luck and HAVE FUN.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone for you excellent words of advice! There are definitely many solid bits of information here!

I particularly like the "beat the teacher" idea, and the comments regarding discovering a bit about my own playing. I once read a thread here that talked about one of the possible reasons why the "great" saxophone players got so great was that they worked on skills because they "had to" to make it. It was a sort of responsibility. I get that to some extent in my classes and practicing for my jury, recitals, etc. but I think this will only serve as a greater motivator to improve my own playing. I've also found teaching in the past to be exceptionally rewarding during the times I've done it, and to say the least, I've missed it.

Keep the advice coming!
 
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