What makes a good student?

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    Nancy Edwards

    I have a question for teachers of harp, or any other musical instruments.


    Learn the assigned material as well as you can. In particular learn the notes and rhythm well, so that you are not hunting for notes or starting and stopping during the lesson. Treat the upcoming lesson, and the preparation for it, like a performance, and make it your goal to play the assigned material as note perfect as you can. This is stuff that just wastes the teacher’s time if you haven’t done your homework. The teacher should never, never, never have to correct wrong notes or rhythm. That’s your job.


    I was going to say “be financially current” but thought the better of it.

    Its a good idea to write down questions in between sessions as you think of them. All part of preparation I suppose.

    Hope it works out for you, cello is a great instrument.

    regards Adam


    I was actually going to say “pays the teacher.”


    I have to disagree as a student, Carl, because if I played every piece note perfect and counted everything correctly, I would not need a teacher.

    Karen Johns

    A good attitude and perserverance. No amount of natural talent will compensate for these two qualities if they are lacking. Fortunately for me, my students have this in abundance! :-)



    -I have to disagree as a student, Carl, because if I played every piece note perfect and counted everything correctly, I would not need a teacher. –

    Jean- When learning a musical instrument, there are things that you, the student have to accomplish on your own. One of the main ones is learning the notes and rhythm yourself, so that when you go in for your next lesson, the teacher can focus on the things that only he/she can do for you, like polishing the piece, teaching you interpretation, correcting technical problems, etc. If you haven’t learned the notes and rhythm on your own, that just eats up precious time in the lesson for things that you don’t need the teacher for, and shortens the amount of time available for things that only the teacher can help you with.

    Another thing that you have to do on your own is practice regularly the technical things that your teacher has given you to work on. Practice-i.e., repetition- is the only way to internalize technical issues and improve technique. So learning the notes and rhythm correctly is the starting point of really learning to play a musical instrument, not the final stop.

    harp guy

    I’m a flutist first and a harpist second (it’s my stress reliever! And great one too!). While browsing a flutist’s website, I found an article about becoming an ‘ideal student.’ It’s a good read and has a lot of great suggestions. Obviously it is flute centered, but the principles still apply.


    My opinion as a flute student:
    I keep a 3-ring binder in my music bag.

    Nancy Edwards

    Thanks to everyone for

    Minnesota Harpist

    Being both a piano teacher and a harp student I see this question from both sides…

    My simple answer as the teacher: practice.

    Minnesota Harpist

    Wish there were an “edit” button!

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