With the first weeks back to teaching, it is time to settle into the fabulous-ness (perhaps not an official word, but one that describes how much I love my job) of lessons with my students! As a teacher, a big part of keeping clients and students happy is setting realistic expectations for each person. As a travel teacher, that list looks a little different because we need to set up realistic schedule expectations as well.
Practice. It is a necessary part of learning any new skill. But, practice made fun? Really?
It’s the start of a new academic year in the studio and that means I’ve been working at building excitement for lessons that are starting just around the corner!
Whether your lessons have already begun or they are oh-so-close to starting, building excitement in those weeks up to AND after lessons have begun is crucial. Everyone is settling into a new routine and if something is exciting, it’s talked about. Which leads to more time spent on it!
Setting up a routine is important for having a successful year. Not only does it ensure we make time for the concepts we want to teach, it makes time for when we need to step back and let our students lead. For our special needs students, a routine can be the thing that makes piano lessons a safe and enjoyable part of their week. How are you getting ready for back to lessons?
How we learn. That’s what we, as teachers, really want to know because it lets us know how to best teach.
Chords are the backbone of music. Yet, how many of us take the time to teach our students about chords? Not as part of their technique exercises or on a theory page, but as an element that makes a song … well, a song. And, how many times do we sing chords so we can play chords?
The right app makes all the difference, right? And while I’ve written about the apps I use in my studio while teaching, I haven’t shared the apps I just can’t live without for the business side of my studio. That’s about to change!
While we may teach piano (or other instruments), coaching students and clients is a big part of our jobs. It’s when we work with our students, rather than give them all the answers, that they have the most growth. It’s when we work with our clients that we have the best relationships and outcomes. And yet, have we really learnt how to coach our students and clients?
As I watched my kids complete some of their daily tasks I got to thinking about teaching, of course. I wondered, “Should we let students make mistakes or should we correct everything right away?” My thinking has changed over the years, both in teaching and parenting.
One of the things I have changed about my practice time in the last few weeks is to create instead of imitate. Rather than play repertoire by other composers, I play from the heart. It’s been eye opening how much I’ve had to say musically!
Then, on a rare trip to my office this week, I found a book that a student gave me which reminded why this is so important.