The Piano Teacher's Tone Of Voice
The piano teacher's tone of voice is important in establishing trust with the child. Children usually experience anger in the voice and face first. Children are very sensitive to facial expressions, tone of voice and physical manner. It is impossible to fool kids in some respects. Perhaps it is my personal reaction to children, but in the presence of children I become a child again, albeit with my adult abilities intact.
Make The Piano Child-Friendly
In that double guise, I am able to lead the child into the intellectual territory that the piano inhabits. It's a territory not known for being child-friendly. Think of two children playing together, not particularly boisterously, but freely and without restraint. In such an atmosphere, ideas are broached instantly, with wild projections and stories flowing like grape juice. Watch your child happily playing with a friend, and that is the same atmosphere that is most conducive to learning at the piano.
Enter The Child's World
Your goal should be to become as much a child as possible, so that you can enter the child’s world. Yet you cannot lose your teacher’s agenda, training and focus. The key is to enter the child’s mindset, that particular day and hour, and then see if there is any way to increase their knowledge and love for the piano. Any effort you make has to be in reference to their current mental state. Any effort you make that ignores that state will likely end in failure or stalemate. You will not enter that child’s world by force. If you dictate the agenda sternly, you can expect a frozen emotional blob in front of you.
You Need A Willing Collaborator
You need a willing collaborator as a student. But the problem is that most piano teacher’s attitudes only succeed in making robots out of their students. These teachers think that such rote accomplishment is better than actual, voluntary interest. The truth is that voluntary interest takes a thousand times the patience and effort from the piano teacher. Rote teaching is the mark of a lazy and ignorant piano teacher. To realize such a child’s potential, whatever it is, at the piano, requires a thousands tries and parries. You must seek opening after opening into which knowledge can be poured. Create an atmosphere of collegial experimentation with no apparent particular goal in mind. Apply pressure to such a child, and all interest will cease quickly. Get them interested, and they will pressure themselves to do more.