Ask the Teacher - Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider

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The Copenhagen-based pedagogy teacher explains how she gets her students to realise that teaching can change the world

Who are your students?

All string players on the bachelor’s degree course at the Royal Danish Academy of Music have my one-semester course in string pedagogy. They are around 20 years old: very talented and focused. At this point they have realised that they need to be excellent instrumentalists and they practise a lot. They are focused on themselves but I try to make them see how fantastic teaching is, not necessarily at this point in their lives but at some time in the future. I felt this was my chance to design a course to help them understand that teaching is a blend of performing, of getting to know oneself better and of being able to communicate. I hate the fact that we’re put into the boxes of being a performer or orchestral player or soloist, because musicians have to be able to do everything.

Are some people naturally good teachers?

There will always be a few in the group who are born teachers. I see it in their eyes, and in the way they interact with the children who come in to play. It is very obvious.

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