The Student

The Student

One of the great joys in life is the discovery of new information that both inspires and at times, challenges you. We all have interests that drive our passion and push us to succeed by mastering a skillset or fulfilling our desire to learn as much as we can.

We can learn as an individual or embrace learning through a collective group with the same interests and goals. We can embrace the power of the collective by challenging each other, pushing ourselves and encouraging each other when we need motivation and support.

As both an educator and a student, I have learned that everyone has a unique way of accessing and absorbing information. Some thrive in a collective environment and group dynamic with an element of competition to push them. Other students withdraw into themselves and learn best when they follow their own path.

There are students who embrace the challenge of jumping right in and learning as they go, without the need to have all the fundamental skills mastered, and there are others who are hesitant to move ahead without a firm understanding of the basics and a clearly outlined path.

On my own path to pursue my skills as a musician, I have discovered that it’s not only who you study with or the material that you invest the time working through that will contribute to your development, but having an honest reflection of your goals, weaknesses and having a vision as to the path you want to follow, even if it’s just a starting point.  I have determined the following traits to be the key to success.

Be Humble and Open To Learn

Don’t be concerned about what you cannot yet do, but be excited and inspired by all the possibilities that are available. You will never master everything, but each new element brings growth and the process of learning new things will allow you to develop the skills you are seeking. Being concerned about what is challenging you or beyond your reach at this stage is a deterrent and will just hold you back.

Choose the Right Teacher

There are many teaching styles which cater to different learning paths and it’s important to find a teacher who suits your learning style and offers the expertise and experience to help you work towards your goals. Also, it’s perfectly acceptable to find different teachers who offer expertise in different areas. No teacher is a master of every aspect of the subject you are seeking to learn and by taking the time to track down the right teachers; it will inspire and motivate you.

Trust Your Teacher

Once you find the right teacher, you must put your trust in them as they have been through these steps before and can provide you a path to success through their own experiences. Sometimes the path may not always be obvious, but trust your teacher, follow their directions and you will be rewarded through your efforts.

Dedicate Practice Time
Know what you want to achieve and make sure that you commit to regular practice to develop your skills. Many students spend their practice time just reviewing things they are already proficient at. Time spent playing is valuable but in order to build your knowledge and skills, you must devote consistent time to the unknown or uncomfortable elements. When you do this, what appears to be a challenge eventually becomes an inspiration when you begin to see the results of your focused efforts.

There are many different learning styles and each of them has value. It’s vital to not just assess and critique the ability of others, as each of us is unique and is on our own path.   The key to being successful is to assess yourself honestly as to what is the most effective approach to learning what you desire and make that commitment. Devoting time to study what you are passionate about will both build your confidence and inspire you to live a life of fulfilment and accomplishment.

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