It's tempting not to listen.
Your student says, "I made up a piece." And you think, "Hmm....the recital is really soon," or, "I wonder if their Mom is going to think it's worth all this money they're paying me to listen to their daughter's ramblings..."
Here is an example of Gabriella's first try at making up a piece. It's only 49 seconds long.
It's not beautiful. That's not the point. It's a typical student doing a typical thing. More important, she's anxious to play it for me. She "wrote" it without being prompted in any way. If I'd only listened to the first few seconds, I wouldn't have seen the thought she'd put into it. She's playing with sounds. She has alternating sections, she moving up by octave. She is thinking about form. It's the simplest kind of form, but she's showing an ability to create patterns. There's a pattern inside her pattern - in contrary motion.
It's not a brilliant piece. But it's an attempt at creation. It deserves respect.
It's lovely to be able to see patterns, but creating them yourself is even better.
This week I'll bet one of your students will say, "I made up a piece. Do you wanna hear it?"
You'll take the time to listen. Won't you?