I mean REALLY listen. Not just to the music, but to the students themselves. Though I am not qualified to make a diagnosis of their mental state, a pat on the back now and then always goes a long way. Do they
Am I dynamic person who REALLY inspires my students to get into the practice room after our interaction, or am I just a fire-and-brimstone preacher that makes them count the minutes until our time together is over for the week?
Does my playing inspire? Am I the kind of consistent performer that I expect THEM to be? Am I practicing what I preach? Am I credible? Being credible is more important than being incredible.
Am I their strongest advocate? Do I owe it to their development as young adults to not always give them the benefit of the the doubt? Should I hold their feet to the fire and challenge their work ethic, regardless of the other commitments they might have? I am certainly not a parent, but I may be their strongest mentor.