Perfection or effort?

Do you teach any perfectionists?

I know I have and a few years ago I inherited a student who was at the more extreme end of the scale. If they went wrong they immediately stopped and would only start playing again if they could return to the start.

It took a lot of patience and time but slowly they came around to my way of thinking! We started playing from random places in the music – often covering up the start so they had no choice but to begin in the bar I pointed to.

Suggesting they actually try and play it wrong deliberately was also a fun task!

They will never completely lose that desire to get it perfect as it is part of who they are. But I think they now appreciate and accept that yes there might be wrong notes but it is only a couple of errors in a piece containing often hundreds of notes. So perhaps 1% of the entire music!

What strategies do you use with your perfectionist students?

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