Student retentionUncategorized

It's the most wonderful time of the year … except when it isn't

Years ago, I was a junior high teacher at a special needs school. It came with lots of joy when a student would have a breakthrough behaviourally, developmentally, or academically. But, it also came with its challenges.

While most students eagerly await winter break & the change in routine, for many special needs students this can be a time of stress. At the school, we always knew that December & June were going to be tough months for both students & teachers. For students, the upcoming change in routine tended to lead to anxiety, more frustration with routine tasks, & a big focus on what the new routine over the holidays would be. For teachers, it required a lot more patience & an eagle eye as we did our best to keep things from escalating. How do we help our piano students transition to the upcoming winter break?

piano parentsStudent ProgressStudent retentionUncategorized

Behind Every Successful Piano Student …

One of the lessons I’ve learnt as a parent is that I need to be more stubborn than my kids. While I am being a bit facetious, one of the things that has helped us immensely as parents doing our best to ensure our boys have a clear role in our family along with consistent, well-defined tasks. Part of that is being more stubborn than our kids.

I was reminded of this when I heard what I am dubbing as the ‘best quote ever on piano parenting’.

Student ProgressThe admin side of teachingUncategorized

In Praise of Incrementalism

We are getting into the 3rd month of a new school year & it’s feeling … well, not so new anymore. Routines are set (or not set depending on your point of view). The weather may be changing, but unfortunately it also tends to lead to dropping many of those awesome routines we have set in place back in September.

Then, I listened to a podcast that go me thinking … how can I help my students (& myself) stay motivated during a time of year that lends itself more to snuggling on the couch with a cup of tea & a good book, rather than sticking with our routines & goals?

ProductivityTravel TeacherUncategorized

Time Management for the Travel Teacher: In-lesson edition

Last week, I shared some of the ways I’ve learnt over the years to manage my time on the road.  After all, this is time travel teachers can all so easily ‘lose’ during their overall teaching week. However, one thing holds true whether you teach in your student’s home, your home studio, commercial location or…

ProductivityThe admin side of teachingTravel TeacherUncategorized

Time Management For Traveling Teachers

It seems like we never have enough time in lesson to get everything covered, let alone anything remotely close to resembling everything.  Between ensuring that our student truly can play that new section independently, parents needing (or wanting) to talk with us, or any of a million other situations, time has a way of rushing…