Saxophone Teachers: Which Age Group Is The Best To Teach?
Many teachers, particularly those who are newly qualified or who have not been teaching the saxophone for long, spend a long time considering which age bracket they would most like to provide saxophone lessons for. The answer is not straightforward; it is not a case of which age group is the best, rather which age group are you, the teacher, most equipped to teach. Let’s have a look at some of the things you should be considering.
This is certainly the most obvious place to start if you’re pondering who you’d like to teach: who are you qualified to teach? Children, in particular, require a certain teaching style which is quite different to how you would teach the saxophone to your adult students. Just because you are a great teacher to your more mature students does not mean for a moment that you will be good at teaching children! If you have the proper certification and qualifications to teach younger students then you should be well equipped to teach them well.
In a similar vein to the above point, you should take heed from your prior teaching experience before diving in at the deep end and deciding to only teach a certain age group. It certainly takes a while to ‘find your groove’ when it comes to teaching saxophone lessons so take the time to teach as many different age groups as possible so you can see to whom you provide the best lessons.
Your personality and your teaching style are key to working out which age group you are best equipped to teach.
For example, teachers for younger students generally have the following attributes:
• Super organized – children require a lot more structure to their lessons in comparison with their adult counterparts. You must have thoroughly planned the lesson beforehand and be ready for any unexpected events!
• Sensitive – obviously, all teachers should be kind and sensitive to their students needs but the need is even greater if you are teaching children. They are incredibly impressionable and don’t have the same mature perspective as adults.
• Vocation – Playing the saxophone and teaching children are both vocational activities. This is not something to be doing just for the sake of a bit of extra money – you’ve got to love teaching saxophone to young students!
• Fun – it’s imperative when you’re teaching children that you mix up your lessons and include some lighter touches, particularly when you’re preparing for grade exams, for example. Little rewards are a great way of keeping your student’s attention and focus!
Of course, all the above attributes will certainly come in handy when you’re teaching adults but you have much more capacity to be flexible with older learners. Generally, adults will have much more of a clear vision for the direction of their lessons and will need less hand-holding than youngsters. Obviously, it’s really important that you tailor your lessons to the wants and needs of each individual learner.
You should now have some idea of what age group you are best placed to give saxophone lessons to. The three things to bear in mind are: qualifications, experience and personality. If you follow this, then you can’t go too far wrong!