Why I w/couldn't teach a friend

Dear L
    Here's a slightly more serious answer about why I find it very hard to teach adults piano.
   Their learning process is totally different to kids. Kids know they don’t know and have no issues around being told. Adults think they know (or feel inadequate if they know they don’t know) and have big issues around being told!
    If you can find a kid’s blue touch paper and set it alight s/he will go like a rocket, regardless of how much else they have on. That simply doesn’t happen with adults, and you have to smile sweetly when they tell you they haven’t been able to practise, but the reality is that they're not sufficiently engaged to prioritise the activity.
    I also think it would be a mistake to teach someone I know socially, as it might well contaminate both relationships. I recently turned down a 'Dad' I’m very friendly with recently for that reason. There are also fascinating differences in male /female learning patterns which make the former a lot harder to teach as their brains are hard-wired to tool use (seriously!) and they have tremendous ego issues around dexterity, which women simply don’t have.
    Also a teacher needs that small bit of leverage that being a stranger provides, which is lost when you’re mates and the pupil can take the piss without fear of retribution.

There’s a further thing I've discovered and that is I've not succeeded in teaching non-literate musicians. My attempts have been fascinating encounters in which I've learnt a tremendous amount about the raw structures of memory within the brain; and how, in the absence of literature, strophe is the natural form of memory storage and retrieval. But my mind doesn’t work that way, and you need a teacher who is immersed in the world of intuitive music-making, because the last thing you wants is to get hung up on trying to read dots when all you want to do is play.

Great fun with you guys on Friday night; and I don’t want to spoil a good friendship.

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