Looking up the definition of “dead space” on the internet, I find a video game. When I think of dead space, however, I think of times in the private lesson when the student has nothing to do. We teachers sometimes expect that the student will wait patiently during these times. Often, though, dead space becomes a time for students to disconnect from us and from the experience of the piano lesson. We later wonder why the student cannot sit still, why the student is unfocused.
“The art of teaching: Creating an environment in which a student wants nothing more than to learn, and having the right materials for the situation.” – Frances Clark
“As teachers, what we want is a student who owns the rhythm. He owns it, he doesn’t have to borrow it from the teacher. So that he can use it whenever needed, in any piece in the whole wide world. He’s got it for life! ” – Frances Clark
In the science lab that we call a piano lesson, teachers often experiment on our dear subjects, ahem, students. Sometimes when one technique does not work, we try another… and another. This spirit of experimentation how I ended up sprawled on the floor at a piano lesson a few weeks ago.