How to Have a Great Lesson - Every Time

Nov 16, 2022

By Anne Sullivan 

A lesson is for learning. But maybe not in the way you think.

A great lesson isn't just one where you play really well. It’s a lesson in which you learn really well. Here’s the difference.

When you play well in your lesson, it shows your teacher that you have been practicing properly and you are making good progress. But if that were the only way we rated our lessons as successful, we would be ignoring those “off” weeks when you’ve practiced hard but simply not played well in your lesson in spite of that. It happens, and it’s nothing to get upset about. 

If there is a practice habit you need to adjust, your teacher can help you with that. If you’re stuck on a particular passage, your teacher can help with that too. But playing well is not the best indicator of a good lesson.

In a really great lesson, you learn well. 

A lesson isn’t a test where you either play well and pass, or play poorly and fail. It's an opportunity to learn more about the harp and music. You can learn about practice strategies for fixing wrong notes or placing chords or playing faster. You can learn how to play more expressively and perhaps what makes harp playing sound musical instead of mechanical. You can discover how to learn music faster or read it more accurately or memorize it more securely. You can learn something cool, like how to play harmonics or glissandos or the thunder effect. 

And here’s a bonus. The more you look for learning in your lesson, the more you will learn. And the more you are enjoying learning, the more your teacher will enjoy teaching you and you’ll learn even more. It’s a triple win!

I have created an acronym which may help you approach your next lesson with a new learning mindset. Even better, it should help you leave your lesson feeling great.

  • Learning. A lesson is for learning. Making mistakes is part of the process.
  • Exploration. A lesson is about discovering new things about music and the harp.
  • Solutions. Your teacher is there to help you find solutions to difficulties you may be experiencing in the music you are learning.
  • Steps. Your teacher will help show you the steps you need to take to succeed each week and over time.
  • Opportunity. In a lesson there is always the opportunity to discover new ideas, new music, new ways of practicing, new places to play your music.
  • No limits. Your lesson will help you remove the barriers in your way, whether they are technical issues or practice challenges or things you just don’t know yet. As those barriers are removed, one by one, there will be no limits to what you and your harp can do!

Here’s my question to you: what did you learn in your last lesson? I’m guessing you may not remember, and I’d like to help make certain that you remember what you learn in your next lesson. 

So I’ve created a quick, fun 60 second challenge. It’s a practice strategy that will take you just a minute to try, one which may end up being a “go to” tool in your practice tool box. When you’ve tried the 60 second challenge, answer two easy questions and we’ll email you a free copy of our Lesson Learning Review Sheet. It’s a one-page sheet that you can complete after each lesson to help you remember what you learned or discovered in that lesson. 

Get a copy of our free PDF Lesson Learning Review Sheet to help you make each lesson great. LINK


We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.