All of my piano students are not going to choose music as their career path, but, as a teacher, I would like to help them develop their independence. Being an independent student means that she/he is able to use internalized tools in situations which cause physical or mental uphill moments during the learning process or a performance. For students, making mistakes is no fun regardless of how big or small the audience is and sometimes it is easy for them to get frustrated during piano lessons.
One day, a student of mine was playing the same spot again and again but the fingers just wouldn’t do the job that they were supposed to. This is what I mean by “uphill moment” of the learning process. Then a miracle happened. Something clicked and she started to fight the challenge. As her instructor, I started to question, “Did she start listening to herself,” or “Did she just figure out how to use her wrist?” All those pedagogical questions were going through my mind while I was watching her try to solve the problem. Whatever she was doing, she was not going to give up. Watching her helped me understand that it was her job to meet the challenge by herself because she was trying different tools she had learned in previous lessons. She was trying to solve the issue on her own with tools she’d already learned – this made me a happy piano teacher.