Hi everyone. I know there have been threads like this before, but I'm really feeling low about starting up teaching again after the summer holidays.
I reckon over 50% of my students don't practise regularly or effectively. They come back week after week with the same problems that they haven't worked on overcoming. I show them how to work on these areas in the lesson, make a note of what they need to do in their notebook, then the following week, they merrily tromp through the sales and/or pieces making all the same errors as before. My last half term was so depressing in this regard that I cut it short by a week and refunded everyone. I just couldn't face another week of it all at the end of what was a very long term. I'm dreading seeing them after the summer and hearing it all again.
I really don't think I give people too much to work on - maybe three key things (so maybe 12-24 bars or 8 bars and a couple of scales) to get to grips with between lessons - but to no avail.
If I abandon a piece that's gone stale to move on to new things, I often find that they pick the new thing up happily enough, but as time goes on and they need to get down to the detail of playing musically, or overcome a tricky passage without fudging it, they don't put the required work in and it stagnates again. Those last few errors never get ironed out unless there is an exam or performance looming. Do others find that non-exam pieces never really get learned properly? Mind you, this is also true of my own learning. I have grand ambitions to learn certain pieces but work on them for months without ever getting a polished end result and then get deflated about it.
Those I put in for exams do pass convincingly (I've had only one failure, but she just didn't do the work she said she would) - mostly merits and distinctions, although nobody beyond grade 3 so far. I've been teaching for about 4-5 years I think.
I am starting to feel that I am not teaching effectively and maybe this isn't for me after all. My only qualifications are that I am grade 8 myself and have the DipABRSM teaching diploma. No music degree - my own musical education between age 8-18 was very much in a hobbyist direction, and I do feel like I'm not a "proper" musician or teacher as a result. It really affects my confidence. I have taken additional lessons myself, but these have tended to knock my confidence further in showing me how little I really can do compared to far more accomplished performers. I feel like a bit of a fraud when I can't solve the problems some of my students have (whether those problems are in ability or attitude). What can I do to give myself a boost before the academic year starts again?