Building Confidence Through Discipline and Training

Through many years as a guitar teacher, I have seen kids of all backgrounds and abilities become extraordinary learners. These kids have grown to be disciplined, enthusiastic, passionate, and consistent. They've developed a great joy towards learning and practising their guitar, as well as becoming very confident in their own self-image. In order to attain this growth, persistence is both the lock and key.

What is the Hobby Cycle?

Have you ever heard of the hobby cycle? Kids express interest in an activity like football, dance, guitar, etc., start taking lessons, and shortly after, want to quit when they get bored and disengaged at the first sight of struggle. It makes sense: the activity becomes like school to them and they just wanted to have fun in the first place.

Read on for some insights that can help you work through this with your children.

Breaking the Hobby Cycle

A Nurtured, Caring Approach is Always the Best One to Take.
Kids need to feel nurtured when they learn a new skill. They need to feel that they can achieve their goals and that their teacher supports and cares for them and their successes. More importantly, the child needs to feel that they are in control of their learning as opposed to following someone else's lead. That's how they decide to stick to a certain hobby. 

In Japanese culture, it’s said that learning can’t happen if the teacher and student don’t have mutual respect for each other. This respect is born from empathy. As the teacher sees the world through the eyes of their student, the playing field becomes level. The teacher no longer represents a dictatorial, results driven force. They are a friend and mentor. They know and understand the student's struggle because they too have experienced the same one and can guide them through it. 

Teaching Philosophy

When I was growing up, one contribution to my own success as a guitar player was the simple fact that my teacher believed in me. The positivity and confidence my teacher had in me was very powerful. I had external support to help me realise my value in the world. I was suddenly accountable for my own practice, and gave myself the responsibility of showing up to lessons prepared every week. I realized that this was a skill that has helped me time and time again in my adult life, and I want to give my students that gift through the medium of guitar. 

Helping children discover what they’re great at and bringing out their confidence, like my guitar teacher did for me, is my version of giving back to the world.

My five takeaways for a teacher to help kids build confidence and set them on their path to personal growth and success are: 

  1. Ensuring they know their teacher believes in them.
  2. Nurturing their learning
  3. Creating the right framework for achievement.
  4. Making learning fun!
  5. Providing a non-judgmental atmosphere.
Teachers who are able to give these to their students will see the kids’ confidence bloom. The lessons and discipline children gain from being persistent in their learning will help them overcome not just the difficulties that learning an instrument presents, but also those of life. Music education will give kids a sense of value and achievement, as well as provide a lasting source of great happiness in their lives.

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