Response to Teacher vs. student repertoire choices

Participant
Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #88792

I have learned to keep students’ repertoire to a level that will challenge them somewhat,

but not overwhelm them. Once in a while, I have miscalculated, and have had to suggest

putting the difficult piece “on hold” until they have had some time to build better

technique. If it is a piece that the student has chosen, and really wants to play, this

approach guarantees that they will still get their wish. You are absolutely right that it is

better to use pieces that the student loves to play. If, however, you are teaching a very

serious student who is planning a career, then they have to learn every kind of repertoire.

whether they like it or not. To play a piece well, when you have no emotional connection to

it, this is like great acting, and it takes practice.