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How to Give Effective Feedback

  1. Praise specific actions: Instead of simply giving qualitative feedback like “Good!” tell the student WHAT they did that resulted in a positive change. For example: “Great job making that scale sound more connected! You maintained a much more even tone by sustaining a fast air stream!

  2. Ask the student what they did/changed that created the improved result: This encourages the student to self- analyze, think critically, and develop a musical vocabulary. I use this technique more often with older/ more advanced students but it can also be very effective with beginners once they’ve grown accustomed to basic music/ instrumental terminology.

  3. Have the student repeat the passage again to reinforce the positive change: We want to make sure that the improvement becomes the norm rather than an accidental moment of greatness. 

  4. Ask the student how they changed their practice habits to be more successful or provide actionable steps to work on in the upcoming week: Once again, this helps ensure the improvement becomes a habit and reinforces the positive results the student achieved in their lesson.

I hope these tips help you communicate effective feedback with your students!

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