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Lotus Centre Institute Blog
Jan 30, 2023
Teaching Students who Don’t Practice
Many music teachers will encounter students at some point who don’t practice. This can be frustrating for any teacher or student. It’s hard to continue reviewing the same material every week and feel like it’s going nowhere. Students may also feel distressed about not meeting your expectations, which makes lessons unenjoyable and even anxiety provoking. All of this can lead students to drop out of lessons or get dropped by their teacher. From what I can tell, this is a really common experience: not just for students with exceptionalities, but for many students in general. So how do we break this cycle…?
Dec 19, 2022
Balancing Structure and Student-Led Learning
When talking about teaching music to students with exceptionalities, two themes keep coming up: first, structure and routine are important. And second, to foster engagement, let the student lead. These can seem like conflicting ideals—how do you maintain your lesson structure and let the student lead at the same time? What if the student leads you away from the structure—what then? It is a tricky balance, but there is a way to make it work!
Nov 21, 2022
Perfectionism in Students with Exceptionalities and How to Help
Any music educator who has been teaching for a while knows that perfectionism can be more of a curse than a blessing. It can be crippling for students who are not able to feel good about their progress unless their performance is “perfect” (which is an unattainable goal), and can hamper the learning process as students will often avoid that feeling of not being good enough and give up altogether. And yet, so much of our approach in traditional music education does support students’ beliefs that perfection in music performance does exist, and is something to strive for. We encourage students to spend countless hours practicing and drilling to get to it “right,” which then inevitably means that anything else is “wrong.” This can be toxic for students who struggle with perfectionism.
Aug 22, 2022
Intake meetings: Setting new students up for success
The new teaching year is starting soon, and you may have some new students with exceptionalities. While it’s fun and exciting to meet new students, the first set of lessons can also be challenging. As teachers, we want to set our students up for success, but it can take some time to get to know them and find the right approach. At the Lotus Centre, one way we start everyone off on the right foot is to give all new students an intake meeting.
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The Lotus Centre for Special Music Education is a registered charitable organization whose mission is to provide access to adapted music education for the special needs community.
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Our programs are funded in part by the Azrieli Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation