By Jennene Estes
With the summer season upon us, it becomes routine for families to reschedule their child’s music lesson, often, from week to week. Don’t get me wrong, this is no indictment of families going on vacation. This is for the student that, no matter which season they find themselves in, are constantly swinging from one day to the other. So go enjoy your cruise to the Bahamas for sure, but remember when you come back there are several reasons why prioritizing your lesson and retaining as much consistency in your lesson schedule as possible really benefits everyone!
- Your weekly lesson is an appointment.
People that can be counted upon to keep appointments can be described using the following adjectives: trustworthy, reliable, hard-working, independent, and disciplined. These kinds of people can be entrusted with big tasks because they are faithful to complete the small things. You want a recommendation for that weekend performance gig? Make sure you show up for your lesson every week.
- Your weekly lesson is a prioritized commitment.
Consider that rescheduling might be a symptom for an underlying issue that could be easily resolved. Maybe your current lesson day just isn’t the best day for you? Maybe you packed activities a bit too tightly, or maybe the next day’s homework always seems to take priority? Maybe you just say yes to too many things? Or misjudge what you can really accomplish in a day? When someone asks you to do something, have the courage to look realistically at your schedule and tell them no when needed. Or maybe you could change your lesson to a Friday when homework isn’t due for 3 days! (hooray) Or perhaps some soul-searching and pruning of activities is in order? Don’t be considered unreliable or under committed because you don’t handle your schedule well. Remember you’re in the driver’s seat and solutions are within your grasp.
- Consistent lesson times help you maintain and accomplish goals
If you are a consistent student who regularly shows up to their scheduled lesson time every week, you are fully aware of the following: 1) you have seven days to complete your assignment 2) you can plan out how you will use those seven days 3) you can plan to have your assignments done in advance. Did you notice which word keeps popping up? That’s right: plan. And planning helps you achieve.
- Your teacher has planned out your lesson time together, don’t waste it.
Your teachers plan out their lesson time with you. During a given period of time, they have sketched out specific goals for you. Every week, your teacher gives you an assignment that, when completed correctly, brings you one step closer to your goal. When you consistently reschedule, you run the risk of not giving yourself enough time to complete the assignment(s), resulting in unmet goals or disappointing performance.
- Consistent lesson times keep your practice habits healthy
Panic practice is what happens when we don’t give ourselves enough time to complete an assignment. This is also known as “cramming”. It doesn’t work on your tests and it won’t work in the practice room. Conversely, when we give ourselves too much extra time to complete assignments, we wait to do things that need to be done (aka procrastination). When scheduled lesson times are observed, the tendency to over or underestimate our practice needs reaches an equilibrium and, more often than not, judicious planning and practice is the result.
- Consistent lesson attendance will make you a joy to teach!
Teachers can get frustrated too. One of the more frustrating situations in which a teacher can find his/herself is when a student constantly reschedules their lesson. Your teacher has reserved that time slot specifically for you. Show them you appreciate their commitment by being a steady, punctual, and well-prepared student!