As the year starts it is a great time to think about goals and how to reach those goals. Self evaluation is always in order.
In relation to that, an article in the Douglas Yeo trombone site is well worth pondering for all horn teachers and students. In particular I found his lists of things to consider when evaluating teachers and students to be challenging when taken as self evaluation and very worthy of “quote of the week” status.
First, his list of things to ponder for teachers evaluating their students.
1) Does the student possess not only the desire but the WILL to improve?
2) Does the student have an insatiable musical curiosity?
3) When you assign the student material to prepare for the next lesson, does he fully prepare it?
4) Does the student arrive punctually for lessons?
5) Does the student arrive warmed up and ready to play at a lesson?
6) If you asked a student to listen to a recording or bring in a score of a particular piece, does he do it and perhaps listen to MORE than just one recording? Does he have questions to ask you about it?
7) Does the student treat you with respect?
8) Does the student make excuses when he plays poorly or does he truthfully tell you why he is ill-prepared?
9) Does the student inspire his peers to want to be better players?
10) Does the student understand that he has much to learn from his peers even if he is a better player than them?
11) Does the student encourage his peers by attending their recitals?
12) Does the student seek out opportunities to play trombone in a variety of different kinds of musical ensembles?
13) Does the student make the effort to go hear orchestral performances “live?”
14) Does the student give you adequate lead time when he asks you to write him a recommendation?
15) Does the student respect your need for privacy (no phone calls at home unless they are very important, personal problems that need immediate attention, or emergencies, etc.)?
16) Does the student listen to and try suggestions you make?
17) Does the student trust that your years of experience are valuable and he can learn something from you even if what you say may not completely make sense right away?
18) Does the student find ways to contribute to the trombone community at school and at large by doing research, encouraging friends who are composers to write for trombone, etc?
19) Does the student “go the extra mile” when preparing lesson material?
20) Does the student demonstrate a cooperative, cheerful attitude when working with peers in ensemble such as orchestra, band, brass ensemble, trombone choir or other groups?
21) Is the student the kind of person/player you wish YOUR teacher could have had?
22) Is the student highly self-motivated?
23) Is the student willing to delay present pleasures in order to secure future rewards?
And now his list of things for students to ponder in evaluating their teachers.
1) Does your teacher demonstrate excellence in music?
2) Does your teacher inspire you to be a better player?
3) Does your teacher recognize he isn’t the best player in the world?
4) Does your teacher treat you with respect?
5) Does your teacher give you all the lessons you should receive under contract?
6) Does your teacher go to your recitals?
7) Does your teacher end a lesson always giving you a reason to keep playing the trombone?
8) Is your teacher available to talk about things other than trombone?
9) Does your teacher care that you have a life outside of the trombone?
10) Is your teacher constantly trying to become a better teacher and player himself?
11) Does your teacher seem concerned with being able to tell people that, after you are successful, you were “his” student, or is he proud of you for YOUR accomplishments?
12) Does your teacher encourage you to ask questions?
13) Does your teacher ask YOU questions?
14) Does your teacher TELL you everything to do or does he help you DISCOVER how to do things?
15) Is your teacher a role for you in his personal life apart from the trombone?
16) Does your teacher encourage you when you are having a difficult time, either in life in general, or on the trombone?
17) Does your teacher have good communication skills?
18) Would you recommend your teacher to your best friend? Your mother? Your daughter? Your son?
There is a lot for all of us to consider in relation to ourselves these lists; check out the entire article.