This one goes out to the students out there!
How does your teacher select music that is appropriate for you?
That’s a simple question with a thoroughly complicated answer. It all can come down to having a productive teacher-student relationship.
Truly, in my experience, these kinds of things are taken on a case by case basis. Each student’s needs are completely different from one to another. That is something that we strive to do at Stage Music Center - create a tailored learning plan for each student. But for the sake of this post, I’ll offer some ideas of where some teachers might come from.
For me a perfect study piece needs to satisfy three things: fit the student’s technical abilities, pose some kind of reasonable challenge, and to be somewhat fun! (I’ll deem something passable if it satisfies two of those criteria.) Depending on the student and their skill and maturity level, I’ll also let them in a limited way drive the course of their musical study.
That leads to this question: So how can we negotiate a student having fun while also learning something? That’s where the knowledge and intuition comes into play. It’s a hard balance, but, can be made easier by a variation on this statement that I’ve uttered - “You choose a piece you would like to work on, and I will choose a piece that is appropriate for you to learn something right now”. This is a fair negotiation that can help the student become directly involved in their learning. Again this works best with a student who has some knowledge of their instrument or that is a bit more mature in terms of their artistry.
That’s the teacher side of things. Back to the relationship part - for the student. As a teacher we’re open to helping you as best we can to reach your musical goals. That sometimes requires that you trust us and that we trust you. Trust us when we say that you’re not ready for something. Feel free to tell us when you’re not liking something or, if you’re struggling. That’s what we’re here for.