This was a week that reminded me how important is to work WITH parents, not against them. When things are just not going well with a student, one of the best things we can do is open up the lines of communication with a parent.
‘Tis the season for final school projects and tests, outdoor sports, mosquitoes, and trying to convince the kids there is a reason to give full effort until the last day of lessons. It can feel a little like herding cats … in a room full of rocking chairs. Don’t fight the lure of outside! Let’s take lessons from the piano to where students want to be and give them the change of pace they are craving.
With the end of the year just around the corner (or so it seems), many of our students will be getting a bit wiggly on the bench, perhaps a bit teary-eyed at staying inside on a sunny day, and in general wanting to do something just a little bit different.
One of the favourite warm-up activities we did in my studio this year was rhythm warm-ups. I wanted my students to feel a steady pulse as they played piano, but I also wanted them to improvise with rhythms so when they saw them in their music it was easier to recognize. I wanted a warm-up that kind of did it all. This week, I am sharing the warm-up with you!
We are heading into our 6th month of winter and I’ll admit some days it can be difficult to remember the positives. How do we make sure we continue to celebrate those small wins that make lessons so rewarding?
We want our students to love playing music! And, we don’t want them to be stuck figuring out the basics for Every. Single. Sound. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. And, that goes for both student and teacher. So, how can we help them move beyond the basics?
Our February Romantic music group lesson week is going to be fun one at the studio! To be honest, if I can have an excuse to tweak lessons a bit I am quite happy to change it up. The kids’ eyes light up & they quickly forget that they’re still learning. It’s the month of…
Let’s Get Outside! Instead of students gazing outside wishing they could be there … move those music lessons from the piano to the backyard with these easy ideas!
This month has been all about getting ready for recital season & part of that may be giving gifts to your students or families. There is something about giving families a thoughtful present that lets them know how much they are appreciated.
But with all the tasks involved in putting on a recital (let alone helping students prepare their repertoire beforehand), combined with end of year assessments/reviews, & keeping students engaged when they are more likely wanting to be outside … well, those gifts may just seem like more work than they are worth.
Here is a list of ideas that are homemade & look like you spent days & days prepping Martha Stewart-style … but in reality you only invested a couple hours.
This month, is all about taking the good will we have built with our clients and transferring it into renewed contracts for the fall (or summer depending on your studio).
But, before our clients can flock back to our studios … we need to be ready ourselves. This is your guide to knowing what to include in your registration process and how to make the best documents for your studio!
We all know that practice tends to drop off during vacation times. Between family trips & a more relaxed home schedule, piano practice tends to fall through the cracks. I used to exhort my students to continue practicing over school holidays so that they could “keep up their progress”. When we got back to lesson, I typically got a long list of reasons why the student had not practiced over the break.
Rather than continuing to stress about the practice or lay the blame game, I decided to do something different. Hold a studio challenge!