When a student leaves: making the most of the time you have left

One of my students terminated lessons. Really, it came as no surprise that his parents were pulling him out. Music lessons are not for everyone. Private lessons aren't for everyone. His parents have enrolled him in other activities, that I feel are a better fit for him. For his final month of lessons, I gave him a set of Halloween songs to work on. They didn't really stick. That's when I thought of making a CD. I asked my student to choose his three favourite songs and relearn them. If they weren't good enough to record, then they wouldn't make the cut. "No one wants to own a CD that sounds bad, do they?" I asked him.

He nailed his three songs on the first take. That gave us enough time to add some special effects to each of his tracks and burn the CD. Here's one of the tracks:

That was probably his strongest performance of that old folk melody.

We didn't have time to design a CD jacket or create any CD art. I'm sure that if he wants to, he can handle that on his own.

Michael's CD

Our little CD project is a nice way to end lessons. It gives all of us a little souvenir of our time together. It was also a joy to hear my student rise to the challenge to get his pieces ready for recording.

On another note, this has inspired me to try this with a few other students. Perhaps with the challenge of a deadline, they too may rise to the challenge. If they wind up with something neat to present their parents for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, that would be a wonderful gift.