How can one ensure that clients have a positive experience in the music studio?
Whether it's at a client's location or within a specialist's studio space, steps can be taken to present an engaging experience that promotes internalization, retention and growth. Though not a definitive list, these are great starting points.
1. Stay Positive
Rather than discussing strengths and weaknesses, try to present the things a client does well as "glows" and their "grows" as challenges to overcome. In the beginning, a learner's deficiencies can be overwhelming to both parties in the studio. An instructor can increase motivation to achieve by increasing the power of the pros while shrinking the criticism of the cons. Focus on the growth to decrease the burden of the struggle.
2. Set Realistic Goals
When a person steps into the music space for the first time they come with nothing but a dream of what might be. For some, that dream may not even be their own, but one in their household with hopes of creating a more rounded individual. In any case, it is important to disregard expectations. Creating measurable and attainable goals in relation to the amount of time a person can realistically spend in practice will allow one to track progress. Observable advancement increases engagement.
3. Be Honest
Truth fuels trust. Some may be concerned and say "if I tell them what I'm thinking they may not want to continue." That statement goes for both client and specialist. It has been my experience that being open strengthens the working relationship between the two parties. For clients it is okay to express frustrations, confusion, and irregularities in the practice schedule (or lack thereof). This helps the instructor plan next steps that will prove to be more beneficial moving forward. By the same token, a teacher of any sort should not feel threatened or inadequate in expressing limitations, miscommunication, or facts about progress with a pupil. There's nothing wrong with allowing your protege to see you as human.
In closing, setting appropriate goals and giving positive feedback in an honest manner are important guidelines to maintain in a musical space. There are others that can be key to professionalism and other respectable traits of course. These are simply rational tips for the sake of relational endurance.