The Power of Influence

Negative Influence Bet You Can't Do This

Influence - The Power of Two Kinds of Influence

Influence is powerful. Who has been the greatest power of influence in your life and how do you influence others in your life? There are two kinds of influence - Positive and Negative. 
Both are equally important and drive us to change.

We all influence other people, whether it is our students, fellow teachers, family or friends. I am who I am today because of both the Positive and Negative power of influence in my life. I think we all have that in common. Parents play a major role in shaping their children’s attitude just as teachers play a major role in influencing their students learning.

The Power of Influence and Attitude are Everything

The first person who influenced my musical career was my father. He was an accomplished self-taught musician.  My father influenced me in a positive way, through encouragement, confidence building, (sometimes bribery if necessary) and through insisting on a formal musical education.

Power of Influence PositiveTeaching Tip - Use Positive Influence Statements

  • Good job! I love how you played that.
  • I really feel your rhythm and your dynamics were outstanding.
  • That was so beautiful, please play it again.

Sometimes it’s not the positive statements that motivate and influence us, but it’s the negative things - the negative, challenging statements.

My first piano teacher influenced me in a negative way. He said...

“Glory, I bet you can’t memorize that piece before your lesson next week.”

This can be devastating temporarily, then it becomes inspiring. It makes us spring into action. “Oh yes I can” or “I’ll show you!” And I loved to prove him wrong. Both my father and my teacher’s influence shaped my life.

Influence - Postive or NegativeTeaching Tip - Use Negative Influence Statements

  • I bet you can't finish your theory in 10 minutes.
  • There is no way you can practice your scales with the metronome.
  • I don't think you can draw whole notes on lines and spaces.

4 year old Addie was challenged to draw whole notes on lines and spaces. Could she really draw whole notes that stayed on the lines and in the spaces? Look how proud she is - YES she did it!

What influence motivates your students to success? They may require positive influence, negative influence or both.

Henry Ford said it best – “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way... you're right.” 

What motivates you to achieve success when setting goals? Knowing what motivates and influences you will help you focus on your goal. Think about who has influenced your life the most (parent, teacher, musician, composer) - did they use positive influence, negative influence or both?

Teaching Tip - Use the Power of Influence - Positive, Negative or Both

We are influenced by those who dash our dreams, so we give up or rise to the challenge to prove them wrong. We are motivated by those whose influence drives us to rise higher than we ever dreamed possible. We are inspired by words or deeds that show us all the possibilities to reach our goals.

Your power of influence as a teacher is truly life changing. The Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course will show you how to be a powerful influence in the lives of your students, your family and all those around you.

Understanding the Power of Influence

"A typical pupil would have spent 12 hours with me, one-on-one outside the comfort of their home, after only 3 months. That is 48 hours - 48 emotional hours in a year. This is crazy, this means I must do my job well. There is no one else, outside of their home, who could spend that many precious hours one-on-one with a child. What an amazing job I have.  And I must not disappoint the trust of their parents."  Trang Trinh - Vietnam

P.S. What made you decide to become a teacher? Please share your story below.

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Teach With Passion... Enriching Life Through Music Education!

Glory St. Germain


8 thoughts on “The Power of Influence”

  • Evelyn says:

    The power of discovery is another way: let us figure out a way to do this. What do you think, good idea/bad idea?

  • Aimee says:

    My Mother and my father, both concert pianists, were the greatest influence in my life. My father, who was a maestro, gave me negative influence as well as positive remarks. They were both helpful.
    I learned a lot from both of them. I was 7 years old when I started teaching my mothers 4 year olds.
    She had so many students, she said that I was ready to do that. Thanks for the post, Glory, Aimee Marie Krol

  • Peggy says:

    How to improve students sight reading?

    • Thanks Peggy, yes challenging students to sight read at every lesson is important and really fun. The more we practice our craft at sight reading, the easier it becomes. I like to have my students sight read from their theory workbooks and from their favorite pop music books at every lesson. What do you do to improve your students sight reading?

  • Kamara says:

    Hi Glory,

    I quite like how you have included that negative comments can also influence the outcomes / results we are hoping / looking for. Most times the emphasis is on giving positive feedbacks as the motivating factor. The perceptions is that if one is not alway addressed with a positive stance, it can erode at one’s self esteem. Ironically, sometimes too many positives can lead one to becoming complacent / laid back / inert. But, often it is how the “negative” comments are phrased that provide the individual to be challenged by taking a course of action that as you stated with “… I’ll show you”
    As always, thanks for sharing your insights

    • Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren says:

      When I finally “understood” the power of negative or challenging comments, I was finally able to motivate a number of my students! I had one student especially who was not responding to all the “I know you can do it” and “I believe in you”s that I was trying to build him up with every time he would complain “I can’t do this”. But the minute I went “Yup, you can’t do it. You might as well give up now because there is no way you can play that hands separately”, my student looked at me and went “Just watch me Mme Shelagh – I will SO do it” and proceeded to prove me “wrong”. (Of course, he didn’t know that I had finally had a light-bulb moment and realized that he just needed to be challenged!) SCORE! You should see our lessons now! Shelagh

    • Thanks Kamara, YES, I had an “Ah Ha” moment with one of my students when I had finally had “enough” of her I can’t do this attitude. So I just said… You are right! Of course she was now motivated to prove me wrong and the rest is history. To this day, child or adult, I think it is important to mix it up in the lesson with both positive and negative influence to see what works best. (I’ve used these on my husband too… lol And the results will surprise you!)

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