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.
No none wants to spend all of their vacation working on studio projects. But, no one wants to be flooded with work when they get back from vacation. So, what to do?
‘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.
Can you believe it is already June? Most years tend to fly by in a flurry of wonderful activities, milestones and celebrations. But this year feels like it went by even faster than normal. I hear that this tends to happen as we get older … I just didn’t realize it happened this quickly! Enjoy your last lessons before summer with these tips.