Playing music a student loves is a great first step to inspiring students to enjoy music. Discovering new songs and sheet music though apps like Musicnotes, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube are a great way to find new artists, styles or spinoffs of well-known pieces. These apps are an endless song resource for all levels of musical ability. When listening to artists the student enjoys, unconsciously they are training their ear to hear inflections, interpretations and phrasing that are pleasing to them. It inspires students to recreate these sounds though their instrument and therefore, learn this new piece.
A good teacher will introduce new pieces from their vast knowledge of repertoire. When paired with the knowledge of the student’s strengths, they will suggest pieces that they feel the student would be interested in. These pieces may introduce new techniques or different music styles. This new piece may not be popular or well known but, it may introduce students to new sounds, rhythms or ideas that they might not have done before. After mastering this piece, the student can enjoy this accomplishment. The end effect is inspiring for the student. I find many students will play their new completed pieces repetitively as they are so happy with how it sounds and the feeling of satisfaction it gives them when they play it!
Parents also share this same feeling of satisfaction but in a different way through the accomplishments of their kids. As students progress and become more advanced, I find parents excitedly suggest pieces for their kids to play. Listening and sharing your love of music with each other is another way to inspire students. The list of music requests can get bigger and harder especially as students become more experienced musicians. Many students love to play songs that make their family happy. Best of all, families reap the benefits of hearing great live music in their own home. These are often the shared memories that are remembered the most!
Inspiring students to enjoy music can come from many sources and influences in a student’s life. Students who are actively discovering music and playing new pieces are constantly moving forward into the next levels of their music development.