Meet the student where they are

Meet the student where they are, not where you are, and not where you want them to be, but where they really are

Frances Clark

Meeting the student ‘where they are’ is perhaps likely to be easier in a one-to-one music lesson. We get to know our students on an individual basis and can tailor our teaching uniquely to them.

We know each student’s strengths, weaknesses and exactly what needs to be focused on to help them progress. If a book goes at too fast a pace for a particular student, we can find supplementary materials and spend a bit longer on that section.

Perhaps there are occasions, though, where we might not always meet students ‘where they are’. This might be outside pressures to put them in for an exam, for example, or if you work for someone else, an expectation that students should be following the curriculum at a certain pace.

As another example, Mrs X the piano teacher has a lot of beginner level students and she uses the same tutor book for all of them, without any supplementary materials. All students follow this course at roughly the same speed.

Student A might have a good ear and has a preference for learning aurally whereas student B is very much a visual learner. Student C could have dyslexia and so on. Using the same book for all of them may not take into account variations in learning styles and other potential factors that influence how we learn.

In this scenario Mrs X perhaps hasn’t given much thought to where the individual student really is. Her approach is a one size fits all rather than considering how to personalise their learning.

What does this quote mean to you?

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