Who's in charge? The student - or the teacher?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Thought I'd post one of my articles here for feedback:

    The Ten Second Rule

    Often when students have been playing a piece, or when they have been working on a section of a piece of music, they will say something as soon as they take the instrument off their lips. They only ever say negative things at this time. They will always be criticizing their sound, or the notes, or the timing.

    There is enough opportunity for the teacher to make this type of comment without it coming from the student, and it would be just as inappropriate for that to happen. But for it to be coming from the student is quite a statement on how judgemental they are, and it takes the initiative of the lesson away from the teacher.

    For these overly critical students I have devised a special code of behavior. First of all they need to rejoice in the successes they are having. They need to regard the cup as being half-full not half-empty. I instigate the “Ten Second Rule.”

    The “Ten Second Rule” bans the student from making any comment or any vocal or physical action for at least ten seconds after they have finished playing. It causes them to allow the sound to float in the air. They are able to rest and observe the results of their playing.

    Whenever I have done this, the dynamic of the lesson changes greatly. For no longer do I, as the teacher, have to react to a judgement made by the student. I am now able to regain control of the situation without the student’s morale being destroyed by their own perception of how things are progressing.
    mgcoleman and patkins like this.
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Outstanding rule, Ivan. That is bound to help ... I'm one of those overly critical students and my teacher would probably really like that rule. However, I still think that, overall, the student is in charge, because it's their dime and they initiated the lessons and hired the teacher. If the teacher had hired the student, then I would say, the teacher is in charge. If a parent hired the teacher ..... :dontknow:

    The wise student, however, still in charge of the situation, recognizes that the teacher is worth paying for, and does what they say. :lol::-P

  3. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I like Ivan's approach, and I'll have to disagree with Turtle (respectfully, of course). I am not a trumpet teacher, just a college instructor. The teacher is supposed to be the accurate perceiver and the wiser one. Student's may not even know the right questions to ask concerning many trumpet playing matters.
  4. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I think that's a fabulous rule. Sometimes I try to guess what my teacher will say before he can even say anything. It really is distracting, but it is almost an impulse. I will put this rule into practice at our next lesson. Thanks for the idea!
  5. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    The only problem arises when you has Trumpet Teachers like Conrad Gozzo who gave lessons for free, never charging. He was always in charge. I actually believe that may be yesteryear, when there was a different code to live by.
    Personally, I always believe the teacher is in charge. Allowing a 10 sec. break before self-criticizing is a great idea. Maybe others will see the wisdom in that and follow.
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    I should clarify ... In terms of who's in charge .... I suppose it really depends on the age of the student. But as for the IvanRule .... I'm adopting it even when I'm practicing alone. After finishing something, I'm now going to (try and) NOT THINK for ten seconds after it's done. (Won't be easy ...) Letting it "ring in the air" is a nice way to think of it. But, that's thinking ...:shhh:

  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    10 seconds does not change ownership! It just gives the "king" customer a chance to listen before inserting foot in mouth.

    I regard lessons as partnership. That means give and take from both sides: I give instructions and take the students time. The student gives money and takes a beating. Pretty fair deal if you ask me.

    I agree with Ivan 100%. When the teacher has command of the situation, the student does not reinforce prejudice against themselves or have reason to stick their nose up higher in the air!
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I do think such a rule could be useful in some circumstances where it is needed. Personally, I critique myself and not always favorably as when I'm wrong I'm wrong, and then I can only correct and improve. The detrimental factor of this self critique is to become frustrated, even when such is unspoken. I don't yet take medicine for high blood pressure and hope I never will. I just enjoy!
  9. optic1

    optic1 Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2012
    West Richland, Washington
    Might be the due to the parents Ivan. I watch my son continually bang his head against the wall wanting to be perfect, he's 24 now. I have also wondered if that is all my fault. Looking back I did always push him to be perfect and really got after him if he did a crappy job. It's possible it is carrying over into everything he does now. I have a funny feeling I caused some of his quirks.
  10. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    The student is in charge of paying and playing and the teacher is in charge of receiving and reaping!

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