Parents often seek me out to teach their child how to play the flute, but then give me some version of this caveat:
We want him to study with you because you come highly recommended and your students do really well. However, we don’t want serious lessons. We just want our child to have fun.
I used to try to be diplomatic, but now I give them a speech similar to this. . .
First of all, it is not fun to play badly. And, there is no need to take lessons, if playing badly is your goal. That can be done on your own.
I think it is fun to work hard and then be really good at something.
I think it’s fun to strive for excellence and reach it.
I think it’s fun to be among the best and to be known for doing great things.
I think it’s fun to win stuff.
I think it’s fun to walk on stage and know that I can nail a piece of music I thought I would never be able to play.
I think it’s fun to get a standing ovation – or any applause, for that matter.
I think it’s fun to have self-confidence and to know that I have the skills to overcome any obstacle.
I think it’s fun to play with high-level musicians and to be thrilled with the results.
I think it’s fun to know how to set goals and reach them.
If you would like your child to have my kind of fun, I will be happy to get started. If you are asking me to compromise my principles and not provide the very best for your child, then I am not the teacher for you.
They always sign up. Would you?