Piano Students Dealing With Disappointment

 Disappointment

Back in November, I wrote a blogpost entitled “How to have a Confident Audition”. This post was inspired by the fact that four of my best students were preparing for auditions to popular magnet schools in our area. All four of the kids went through the audition. Each worked really hard and felt that they did very well (no major mishaps). I honestly feel that all of them are good enough to be able to “cut it” in these programs, but the statistics say that only one in five students will be accepted. Why am I writing this today? Because today is the day the emails go out. I certainly hope all four of my students will get accepted to the school of their choice, but if they don’t, I have to help them recover and carry on with their musical studies. Because they are too good to quit. I need to help them shake it off and carry on. It won’t be easy.I tried hard to lay the ground-work for a successful audition experience regardless of the outcome. I know this will certainly help if any of my students receive an email saying they did not make it into their choice school. But nothing can take away the stinging blow of rejection. Especially since this whole process is so “hyped” in Palm Beach County. All of the students will receive the emails today and they will all be texting, calling and even SM-ing the results. Four out of five kids are going to be publicly crushed and very dissapointed today. I wish it were not so but it’s something we have to deal with here. I know teachers in other areas also have to deal type of thing.

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If there is a silver lining to this cloud, every year I have students that go through this process. I have even been through disappointing audition outcomes with my own boys. So I know it’s going to be OK, and this is what I share with my students who are not chosen for the arts schools.

Disappointment is not the end of the world.

First of all, I tell them that I am so proud of them for trying. They are already winners because they had the nerve to try. This, in and of itself, sets them apart. After that, I share with them my own experiences of disappointments and encourage them not to give up. I have been doing this for so long that I have several students who did not make it into an arts program but have gone on to major in music and have successful careers. I share fact this with my students as well. I do what ever I can to try and help them through the feeling of disappointment.

After that I drop it. We choose some new pieces and get down to work. I have never had a student completely fall apart because of the results of an arts school audition. For that I am thankful. I must say that am not crazy about this whole process. The arts schools in Palm Beach County are excellent, but it’s a lot of pressure for children trying to get in and staying in them once they have been accepted. Luckily, children are resilient. If the adults around them handle the situation in a calm and supportive manner, it has been my experience that they bounce back and do just fine.

What I really want my piano students to know.

I am so proud of all of my students and their families. I am blessed to have such a great job and work with such great students and families!

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