My musical education in school was largely classical. There wasn’t really much else around. However I had one teacher in my later secondary school years who fought with the powers-that-be on my behalf so that I would be allowed play the more contemporary stuff I was into at the school concert each year.
She was a classical teacher and player herself, but the fact that she was open to me playing and performing this music meant a lot to me and sowed some pretty important seeds in my life.
A good teacher can make all the difference, and did to me, but I know now from the other side of the fence that the same lesson from the same teacher can affect different students in different ways.
I was hungry, open, ready to learn. I had had enough of classical music and gobbled up any info about pop/rock/jazz or anything else I could find. My teacher recognised this in me and went to great lengths to find music that would stimulate me. I love to see this openness in my students as I know they will be a pleasure to teach as a result.
The other side of the coin is when you have a closed mind, are set in your ways, are resistant to change and learning. I see these people too, both at and away from the piano.
There are lessons to be learned everyday in life, across many subjects – academic and otherwise. What can you do to make sure you are open to them?