®The finest instrument is the mind.

Views on Teaching From a Young Musician

19

Rudin Lengo, 26, currently studies at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. Earlier this year, he was named winner of the 2012 Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition and the 2012 Knigge Music Competition in Piano, adding to his already-impressive list of accomplishments. Playing piano since age 7, Mr. Lengo now teaches younger students in his private studio. Here, he shares his experiences as a young mentor to even younger pianists.

After 10 years of teaching piano while completing my own musical studies, I have gotten a glimpse of the importance of establishing a strong student – teacher relationship. Although I believe in multiple solutions for a given problem, I also explore each of those solutions for common threads.

In teaching piano - as in teaching any discipline - one of the most important elements in establishing a bond is the teacher’s genuine passion for the student’s musical progress, and interest in and support of their personal life. During my musical upbringing in Albania and Canada I was fortunate to have teachers who cared beyond my musical development and valued my personal growth. I believe I have since sought teachers who share these qualities and values.

In order to establish a strong relationship with a student, teachers must play the dual role of an authority figure and a friend. As a young teacher I feel I can breach the barrier between the teacher as a disciplinary and the teacher as a friend with ease. Whether talking about high school exams, university entrance requirements or chatting about sports and the latest in technology, we can connect as friends in many areas of common interest and relieve the pressure of their performance during the lesson even if only for a few minutes. Having completed Royal Conservatory Examinations fairly recently myself, I can relate to the difficulties and challenges students experience and help guide them through the process.

Unlike other areas of study, music deals not only with preparation and practice but also the expression of one’s emotions. A good teaching environment and a caring relationship with the teacher can inspire a student to express themselves with freedom, an essential part in music making.

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