I usually have a lot of heart-to-heart chats with students as they are preparing for major milestone performances, and the 1st of such conversations usually happens before rehearsals even start.
I include warnings about a few things, such as:
- “There are some days you will leave here not liking me very much.”
- “As long as you come back, all will be fine.”
- “I will nitpick you, but know that all of the nitpicking is with love.”
Fast forward a few months into rehearsals with one student…
Student has been getting nitpicked about a particular thing for several rehearsals in a row… each time there is progress, but of course Teacher dutifully follows by a more detailed nitpick.
Student, taking it all in stride and in good spirits, tells me deadpan… “Suchi akka, I finally got the whole “nitpick” warning. The more I dance and improve, the nits keep getting smaller, and your pick keeps getting pointier to get rid of them.”