As flute teacher, you might have a certain curriculum and a method of teaching. But you will soon find that all students are not the same. Some are more gifted than others and some are more dedicated than others. You will have to approach each student in a slightly different manner, while trying to ensure that your time is also not wasted. The biggest difference is between teaching children and adults. There are advantages and disadvantages to teaching adult flute students, but it can also be quite rewarding and easier in the long run!
Act like a coach
When you are teaching adults, it can be hard to act like a strict teacher and hold their hands for everything because most adults will not react well to it. So you have to accordingly modify your own behavior and give them their own time and space to learn. With an adult student, you need to really work hard on communication and ensure that they are able to tell you exactly how they want to go ahead.
Set mutual goals
There are a few adults who are completely dedicated to learning the flute and want to be a professional player. For these people, you will have to take a very structured approach. But most adults only join flute classes for enjoyment or as a hobby. Many even join for something to do after retirement. You can motivate these students to do better but if they no longer enjoy the effort, then they might just lose interest. So make sure that you allow your students to set their own goals for learning and help them achieve it.
Set up group sessions
Adults generally enjoy going to such classes for the social aspect of it. Learning something new, developing a hobby, and meeting like-minded people are some of the reasons that adult students are eager to take up flute lessons. In such cases, it makes no sense for them to not be able to interact with other students. Even if you are taking private classes, try and put such students in touch with each other and regularly organize group sessions where they can enjoy playing the flute in duets or quartets.
Deal with performance anxiety
With kids, learning new things come naturally. They are still in a developmental stage and pick up stuff very easily. For them, learning is the way forward. But adult students have to make special effort to learn something completely new. They can suffer from lack of confidence when confronted with something they don’t have much knowledge about. So your job also includes motivating such students and helping them deal with their own fears and bring out the best talent in them.
When it comes to adult students, one sure fire way to ensure that they continue to remain interested in the flute learning scenario is to organize regular social events with fellow musicians. Keeping in touch with others who are learning the same instrument will not just help motivate your students, it may also open up new avenues for them. You can also encourage students to perform at such gatherings, boosting their confidence.
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