We have now entered the Doldrums of December, that time between the week we had off for Thanksgiving and the three weeks we have off for Christmas, in which students must somehow turn their minds back to their studies long enough to take Finals.
This is also the week of reckoning when I discover how little my piano students practiced over the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s never a good sign when a student opens the book to a piece you have been working on with them for the past few weeks, stares at it quizzically for a few seconds and then breaks out into a smile, saying, “Ohhhhhh… I remember this one!” as if it’s a favorite memory from days gone by.
It’s inevitable, though. In fact, the slow decline for all my students, not just the piano playing ones, begins the day after Halloween and continues until about the third week of January. Educationally speaking, it’s one of the roughest times of year.
So I give extra grace and cheer my students to reach higher and push through.
Which, of course, is easy enough for me to say, because I’m not the one playing the pieces and taking the finals.