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At some point a lesson teacher will get into a rut just as any other person would in any other career. They began to fall into the trap of teaching out of a book. Page by page, exercise by exercise they plod along, hoping and waiting for the student to start practicing and getting into music again. Guess what? It’s not going to happen.

If you find yourself in this rut, get out. The student is not working because most likely they are bored. They are in a rut too. They want something new. Give it to them!

Try out new and crazy things! Tell them to put their instrument down for the day and work on clapping or drumming out improvised beats to their favorite songs; try vocal improv if they’re singers or even have aspirations to sing, and if they’re embarrassed with you being there try something even crazier; step out of the room. Share your results with other teachers!

Something needs to be done to get those kids excited again. No amount of plodding through lesson books will get them out of this. You need to get them excited about music again if they’re going to reap the benefits of what music has to offer. It does them no good to continue on the same path of being bored but getting through a lot of material when they end up quitting in the end.

If students are excited they will learn so much faster, retain the information better and want to learn more. We could learn a thing or two from watching young children learn. Play based and self guided play will increase the speed and ability of young children to learn. Let’s apply that to older kids and see what happens! It worked wonders for my music students! The rest will fall into place once the excitement is there!

Please, if you try this out in your school or studio, I’d love to hear about it!