I try to have a warm, welcoming atmosphere when I give my lessons. I have students who come and bring all their problems with them. This doesn’t make for a good lesson. I had one boy who used to have problems in school. I had him go out and come in again. I told him he left his problems OUTSIDE my doorstep. It seemed to work. After a couple of times of doing that he got the message. Attitude is so important and lessons should be pleasurable.
I have a boy with me now who has a glorious smile. It makes me happy just to see him. He has been studying with me for about 5 years. The early years weren’t that easy, but the smile was always there .. Until one week when it wasn’t. I knew something was wrong but it took a while for me to understand what the problem was. It turned out that he was afraid to put his hands together. At home, he could practice them separately, but he knew I would make him play them together and he seemed to be dreading it. When I saw his fear, I started to work with him very slowly on the problem. By the end of the lesson he felt better, but not great. It took about 2 weeks for him to get over the fear and I have not had that problem with him again and the smile returned.