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Not just music lessons... but musical mentorship

Posted by Meridee Winters on

Meridee Winters Music Mentor


If you keep up with the ongoing research regarding education and youth development, you may have caught one of the many articles about the value of mentorship. In recent years, a number of articles have pointed towards a study from NC State University, of North Carolina's famed "research triangle."

Here's what Business News Daily said of the research and the role of mentorship in successful kids:

"If you want your kids to have successful careers when they grow up, you should try finding them a mentor, a new study suggests.

Kids who have mentors... are more likely to find work early in life that gives them more responsibility and autonomy, according to research from North Carolina State University. The researchers said this ultimately puts them in line to have more personally rewarding careers.

The researchers define natural mentoring as relationships that develop between an individual and an older adult who isn't a parent, and who takes an active interest in the personal and career development of the person the individual is mentoring. Examples of mentors include aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, clergy members and work supervisors.

'Mentors step beyond their normal social roles in order to influence the lives of their mentees,' the researchers wrote in the study."

This last line is where we got really, really excited. Did this study from a top research college really just use our school slogan?

We have always said that with Meridee Winters music lessons, we strive to go a "step beyond." When we take a closer look, part of that "step beyond" is the unique bond between teacher and student. Meridee always likes to point this out to new teachers: most activities, from school to soccer, are in a group setting. Outside you, their parents, one-on-one adult attention is rare. We take this role seriously. The MW teacher manual even includes an entire chapter on mentorship (complete with photo of Mr. Miyagi from "the Karate Kid").

Yes, we're not just music teachers. We're music mentors.

What makes one-on-one music lessons mentorship?:

  • Your music teacher helps teach the value (and intrinsic reward) of long-term goals, like composing a piece or working towards a performance.
  • Your music teacher helps guide the student through frustrations, providing support and encouragement.
  • Your music teacher helps build the skill of autonomy, teaching the student how to practice and develop on their own time between lessons.
  • Your music teacher creates meaningful, joyful moments through song and creativity.
  • Your teacher models musicianship, perseverance, hard work and positivity during lessons.

There are so many other ways this powerful student-teacher relationship involves mentorship. How is your teacher a mentor? We'd love to know!



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