This is the second in series of posts I am writing on mentoring – how it differs from teaching and how being mentored can be a life-altering experience for the student.
an essay by Andy Wasserman
MY WORK AS A MENTOR FOR TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS
I have worked diligently throughout my 35 years as a private music teacher to craft a comprehensive program for the few outstanding students that have potential and interest to be guided by a mentor in music.
The foundation of these efforts arose from my own apprenticeship with three 20th century masters and mentors of music who adopted me as their protégé. My work with Dwike Mitchell (piano), George Russell (theory and composition), and Papa Ladji Camara (West African percussion) lasted over three decades.
Now it’s my turn to pass it on.
The aim is to share the most meaningful aspects of my life’s work, expertise and vulnerability as a full-time professional artist and “eternal student” by sharing fundamental virtues of mentorship with dedicated students.
Here’s my list of the top seven virtues of mentoring that provide a solid and healthy foundation to build on:
- valuing the mentee as an integrated person
- developing trust by displaying humility, patience, kindness and respect
- maintaining confidentiality with relaxed rapport and open dialog
- listening intently to both to what is being said and how it is being said
- helping the protégé solve their own problems rather than dictate direction
- focusing on the mentee’s internal self-organized process of development
- Resisting perfunctory curriculum that yield mechanical results
(Look for the next installment in this series to be posted soon.)