A teacher is not a miracle worker. Well, sometimes they can be, but for the most part the greater responsibility for development lies with the student and their responsibility to return to their instrument day after day, to give in to the fun of the process in order to have a good enough musical product that the teacher can indeed work their magic on. The important thing for the teacher to do is make the practicing as fun as it can be.
One of the things I feel most strongly about as a teacher is the importance of teaching students to think for themselves, to cultivate independence in them. With many of my professional or near-professional students, they often need that reassurance that they do indeed have the toolbox to uncover and fix their own mistakes and discern which is the right way to go in their practicing and development. In short, they need to give themselves the validation that they are indeed artists. The goal of independent musical thought is an important one, and the earlier students are encouraged in this direction, the more they will perform not as a teacher's automatons, but as young individuals, each with something genuine to share.
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