Last week I went to a pupils house and was greeted with some delicious, home made truffles. What a wonderful way to start the lesson! The student was struggling with her piece and we worked through it together in the lesson, bar by bar. This is her third year of lessons and she is usually very hard working, but for whatever reason, she has been finding it difficult to get into a good practise routine this year. Every week is a new chance to fix this so each lesson I have been trying to find new ways to motivate her.
This week the truffles were our motivation. We came up with an analogy of going on a hike. During the lesson we prepared all the things she would need for the hike; making sure she had enough water (working out the notes and rhythm section by section), that her hiking shoes still fit (getting a feel for how the piece works, that she had done all her warm ups so she didn't stretch any muscles (practicing the hands together slowly and methodically).
Then we discussed how during the week she would have to climb the mountain alone. She wouldn't climb it in one day, and she would have to work hard all week long, but she had the toolds to allow her to successfully face the challenge.
I was ready to finish the analogy by saying 'and when you get to the top, you will look around and enjoy the view, reflecting on what you have achieved!' and my student added, 'and eat the delicious home made truffles that we packed!'
I hope that the memory of the yummy chocolates will have spurred her on, and I eagerly await this weeks lesson to find out.