Time Crunch


Anne Sullivan taught music theory and ear training at the Curtis Institute of Music from 1982–2002. She teaches harp at the University of Delaware and helps harpists find harp happiness at

What to do when there never seems to be enough time in the lesson

Student Scenario #1: I know I should be teaching technique and theory and ear training, but there never seems to be enough time in a lesson to do it all. Sometimes we get stuck on one aspect of an etude or a piece and never even get to some of the other important pieces. I’ve tried to set a schedule for the lesson, but that always feels too rushed. How do you fit everything into a lesson?

Student Scenario #2: I’m glad that my students are playing in school and community groups; they learn so much and it helps them find the fun in playing the harp. But it demands so much extra time in our lessons on the music they need to prepare that their recital pieces get shortchanged. And forget about trying to do any focused work on technique or musicianship—there’s just no time. I worry that this will slow down their progress.

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