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Winter Blues

As I am typing this, a massive cold front is sweeping the country.  Most of us are bracing for a second wave of freezing weather.  What better time than now to take about “the blues”.

I hope that you had a great winter break, I know that I did, and now have been back to teaching for a week or so.  If your students are anything like mine, the first lesson back after break is always a challenge.  Some of my students traveled, some got sick, some stayed home.  Practicing was not high on their priority list.  So, what to do?  How to get back in the swing of things?  Don’t scold, encourage! 

Needless to say, those first lessons back are a struggle for both student and teacher.  Spring brings beautiful weather, but as we all know, it also brings testing, competitions and recitals.  So many events in just a few months and now they are behind, or are they?  This is always the dilemma piano teachers face when returning from a long break.  Instead of feeling down, be uplifted in the knowledge that they too will bounce back.  Give them specific deadlines, but not all at once.  Use January as a re-energizing month.  Start with all of the technique and repertoire they were working on in December.  If they stumble, go back and review what they have already accomplished.  This will give them the confidence they need to go forward.  It will also warm your heart.

We can all use a little “that’s great” when things look bleak outside.  It’s our hot cocoa and a roaring fire.  Take the time to praise even the smallest accomplishment at this time.  The winter blues will be gone in the blink of an eye.

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