Teaching Music: Knowledge is Power?
“Knowledge is power.” It’s that quintessential phrase that we all know and is often used as a reason to further our education and skills. But when does this phrase become harmful to both teachers and students in the learning process?
Students: Take a moment to close your eyes and picture the perfect teacher. How much education do they have?
Now, teachers: Take a moment to picture the perfect student. How much previous knowledge of the instrument do they have before walking in your door?
Students, if you pictured your perfect teacher as someone who has the highest degrees of education available, you are not alone. Teachers, if you pictured your perfect student as someone who has a fundamental knowledge base before taking lessons, you are not alone.
Here is the problem with “perfect” students and teachers. Often with a gain in knowledge, we begin to trust in our own ideas, never going outside of our comfort zone. This narrows the scope of possibilities of what students and teachers can accomplish together. I can say with 100% certainty as a teacher with an education that I learn far more from students than they will ever learn from me. They may not have the knowledge base yet, but they arguably have more wisdom and creativity to share. We just have to open our minds to it.
So, is knowledge power? In short, yes. We need knowledge to teach and learn. But remember, keep your mind open.
– Rachel Stern, M.M., Voice Instructor