Jim Clinton Violins Greenville, SC

Make Your Teacher Smile.

Three ways to make your string teacher happy:


Whether you are learning the violin, viola, cello, or bass, your orchestra teacher holds the ticket to your success as a new musician. Make sure your teacher is smiling every time you are around. This will guarantee every bit of success that a teacher-student partnership is capable of. There are three ways you may keep your teacher smiling, resulting in maximum teaching and learning during lesson time. 



-Make careful notes while receiving practice instructions.

-Practice as soon after class as possible. A musician benefits most by practicing while new lesson information is fresh and still in mind. 

-Practice only the material assigned and only as instructed. This will help you focus on what your teacher intends. Although you should allow time for creativity during practice time, practicing techniques or music not discussed by your teacher places you at risk of formulating improper habits, requiring un-teaching.

-Practice regularly and diligently.

•20 minutes twice a day is better than 1 hour every other day.

•Practice every day, with one day off a week. Give yourself a well-deserved break.

•Mind practice. While away from your instrument, think through your music. How will you play it? Move your hands and fingers as though you are holding your instrument. How will it sound? Imagine what you will hear and what you will feel when the music is perfectly executed.

•Record your practice time and be sure to practice the full duration of your recorded time.

•Chart your progress.



-Listen to your teacher. You will stand out as a student and learn more by simply looking at your teacher intently every time you are being instructed.  

-Listen to great music played by great performers regularly. Do this every day. 

-Listen to your mom or dad when they say “don’t you think you should be practicing right now?”

-Listen to your friends when they play. Make sure you blend in with them while playing together. Pick out the best player you know and try to emulate their style and sound, then grow yourself to the next level.


Show appreciation

Seeking your teacher’s affection should be your mission. It’s ok to be the “Teacher’s Pet” since your symbiotic relationship may yield musical opportunity for years to come.


– “An apple a day” may be too frequent, but there is nothing like an occasional gift of appreciation (not a bribe) that says “thank you for your input in my life”.

– Verbally express your appreciation. Be sincere. Name something specific. A little appreciation goes a long way.

– Develop a passion for playing your violin (viola, cello, or bass) and not only will your teacher enjoy it, so will you.







 These three activities will encourage high performance teaching and high performance learning at lesson time. Your smiling teacher will provide multiplied dividends toward your success as a musician and will keep the both of you happy along the way. ~ j

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