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Theory for Summer-On-The-Brain Students

Theory for Summer-On-The-Brain Students

Last week, we looked at the Dreaded June Slide.  It’s that time of year where it is oh-so-easy to just let go & coast to end of the month.  But, is that really what’s best for our students?

Regardless of whether your studio runs on regular schedule, holds group lessons, has summer camps, or takes a complete break over the summer months, it’s important to recognize that our students need something different right now.  They are tired, both mentally & physically.   Plus, with end of year exams, projects, outdoor sports & more out-of-town activities on the weekends … it really isn’t a wonder that our students, their families, & perhaps even us, as teachers, need a change.

Theory for Summer-On-The-Brain Students

Independent playing over the summer

Over the summer, we want our students to play piano.  We would LOVE it if they practiced … but, I’ve learnt to be realistic & aim for playing the piano for a quick bit.  But, part of being able to pick up a piece of sheet music, learn a song by ear, or use a tutorial on YouTube is having the musical skills necessary to make it possible.

This month, my students are focusing on specific apps & activities during their lab times to get them ready for those lazy summer days when I want them stopping to play the piano when they are in the room.  I want them to have quick successes so that don’t lose that love of piano!

The activities my students are doing this month are:

  • Choosing an app to teach their parents during the student-led conference.  They have to explain why they chose the app, which skill it helps their parent(s) practice & show how they will teach their parent(s).
  • Choose an app they haven’t done for awhile.  Explain why they chose the app, what skill it practices, & how they beat their score from before (which requires them to look at past reflection answers).
  • Apps that focus on the skills they will need to play independently:
    • Sight Reading:  Piano Maestro … Students love playing the songs & I like that they are building an internal steady beat.  Plus, the LEARN button is a great way to train students on how to break down a piece into manageable sections.
    • Ear Training:  Blob Chorus … We all need a laugh & what could be funnier than blobs exploding?  Plus, student really need to listen to determine which is the correct blob.
    • Notes on staffs & keyboard:  NinGenius has become one of this year’s student favourites! I have noticed a decrease in the time it takes students to find notes on staff or on the keyboard … my students love that they compete against themselves & it’s so easy to track their progress!  If you haven’t tried out this app, the studio version is completely worth it.
    • Rhythm:  Rhythmic Village … Another studio favourite!  If students have a choice of apps, I can guarantee that many will be choosing this one.  It is also a great app for installing a strong sense of steady beat for students … something many students struggle with.

June’s Goal

While it is easy to slide into summer early, let’s give our students an AWESOME month of activities that set them up for success this summer!

What is YOUR studio goal this month?  Leave your goal below & let’s support each other in having an amazing June!

Have a great weekend!

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