Wild confessions of a professional flutist.

We Just Want to Have Fun

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?

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Comments on: "We Just Want to Have Fun" (4)

  1. Hi Trisha, I love your approach to your teaching and I agree with you 100%. I was always encouraged to strive to be the best that I could and loved to compete in music festivals. I received great support and direction and that built a great foundation for my continuing studies. It is great FUN to work with great teachers :). So keep up the great work.

    Best wishes
    Charlotte

  2. I love this, I may model my own speech on yours 🙂
    I never know what exactly they mean by “we don’t want serious lessons”, I feel like they’re asking me to babysit their child instead of teaching them.

    • I’m glad you like it! It has made a big difference with new students and their families. I think parents are just looking for lots of activities to keep their kids busy and don’t want to have to structure their time between lessons. Helping them to think about music lessons as training rather than a casual activity can help them to set their child up for success. I think people generally see someone making music and think that it looks like fun and that it just comes from being talented. People don’t realize how much work goes into it – for anyone at any level. But, the work ethic is worth mastering and can improve every area of life!

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