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.