“Wow! You are so awesome! I’ll bet you are going to be the next Mozart!” This praise, delivered by a supportive father to one of my students, his seven-year-old son, came with good intentions. Yet its effect was far from positive. The little boy frowned and walked away. The next week he didn’t want to begin a new piece. “It might be too hard!”
In his September 18, 2015, Time magazine article “How Much Should You Praise Your Kids?” the psychologist Stephen Camarata writes that the “wrong kind of praise—and too much praise—actually undermine confidence. Worse, unearned praise and nonspecific praise will derail natural development of resilience and perseverance.” Join Barbara Kreader Skalinder, an educator with over forty years of experience, as she traces the evolving theory and praxis of musical pedagogy from the late nineteenth century up to the present day in “Why Every Student Is A Natural,” her new, backwing-exclusive series!
About the Author
Barbara Kreader Skalinder, author of The Music of Teaching: Learning to Trust Students’ Natural Development, has taught in her independent studio since 1974. One of the coauthors of the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, she has given workshops in more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. Formerly the editor of Clavier magazine, she is also a published poet. Kreader Skalinder received her M.M. degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Laurence Davis and Frances Larimer.