Parents and teachers wrestle with very similar situations.
We ask our child to clean their room. We go inspect it and find it short of ‘perfect’.
3 options. 1) ignore the imperfection. 2) point out the imperfection but say it is good enough. 3) tell the child to keep going, it’s almost done.
A similar scenario happens every day in my teaching studio. A student has been anticipating that this is the week that they ‘complete’ the song and move on to the next one. They play the song and it is…not perfect. What is the right response?
I want students to play songs perfectly. But I also want students to feel agency and self-determination. And to not lose spirit and motivation. Allowing students an opportunity to self-evaluate can work towards both goals.
I tell students to rank the song from 1-10.
8 is ideal for ‘jamming with friends’
9 is for ‘performing for friends and family’
10 is ‘performing for people you don’t know’
Most of the time, we all simply get together and jam. So, often students shoot for 8. But there are times when they have to perform for family or strangers and then they know that they have to take it to 9 or 10.
Interestingly enough, when asked how they rank their song at the moment, most students pick a number a little below what I would have expected. Meaning, they want to work a little harder before we shoot the video and call the song ‘complete’.
We all feel evaluated and measured everyday. Are we smart enough, attractive enough, funny enough, good enough? That feeling really starts to develop around 10 yrs old. Self-consciousness is unavoidable.
I love the idea that I can nudge kids towards the idea that they are judge of whether they are good enough.