Alice Joy Lewis presented this Parents as Partners talk, based largely on the book Positive Personality Profiles (R. Rome).
First she talks about needing to know where you are going in order to reach your destination. In music studies we should be looking at two things: Taking the student to a place of ownership of technical and musical skills (ownership meaning they are easy), and developing in children a happy heart. Not in a self indulgent sense, but happy from feeling competent, having good self discipline, feeling capable.
How do we get there? In our journey we discover the route. We are motivated to do what we like to do. Teachers and parents need to create a climate to motivate. We all know this is different for different students.
In R. Rome's book, he has a personality chart divided horizontally as outgoing and reserved, and vertically as task oriented and people oriented. We are all a bit of each, but usually one quadrant is more dominant.
The outgoing/task quadrant is D: Driven, direct, determined. The outgoing/people quadrant is I: Inspired, impressing, interacting. The reserved/people quadrant is S: Status quo, stable, supportive. The task/people quadrant is C: Calculating, correct, complete. (She had many more words, I just chose three of each.)
In order to communicate with our students/children, we need to speak their language in order to maximize their strengths. What motivates one does not motivate another. Here are just a few examples.
The D student does well under pressure, they are goal driven and like a challenge, they like to be part of the choice and have freedom to do things their way. They need to learn boundaries which hold firm. The choices given them needs to fit with what the parent or teacher can live with: "Would you like to practice just before or just after dinner?"
The I student needs recognition and approval. They like prestige, friendly relationships and opportunities to inspire others and a chance to verbalize. We might need to let them talk before the lesson or practice time before they get to work. They will need to learn time management, that tasks must be completed, listening instead of talking, and they have to be accountable.
The S student needs security, appreciation, assurance. They like to identify with a group, have established work patterns like always practicing everything in the same order, they need to work at their own pace. They need to learn that change can provide opportunities.
The C student needs quality answers, excellence, value. They like clearly defined tasks and explanations, sufficient time and resources to complete tasks, limited risks. They are detail oriented. Needs include detailed orientation, reassurance, an open door policy. They need to learn that total support is not always necessary, there are deadlines and sometimes you just need to play it. Calculated risks are sometimes okay, and there are varying degrees of excellence.
What do we do with this?
By paying attention to and working with the student's personality, we are going with their flow, making things easier for them. It is that ease which motivates. Don't put them in a box, but learn their personalities. In the Suzuki triangle of student-teacher-parent you have three personalities which need to work together! The teacher and parent need to adjust to and learn the language of the student.