With only so many teaching hours available, one of the groups that has been a blessing to add to my teaching schedule has been preschoolers. In some ways, this group is like junior high students. Teachers either seem to love teaching preschoolers or loath it. In my teaching years, it was the same for junior high teachers. Thankfully, I find it invigorating being around these often precocious and energetic young ones.
This is the first in a new series of book reviews on the blog.
Lately, I have been wondering about the role of repetition in both lessons & practice time. In my own practice, it has been enlightening to see the natural patterns I fall into. Especially since some of them, as a teacher, I really do know better. As a teacher, it’s painful sitting through a song that once again a student has obviously put NO thought into during a week of incorrect practice. (“Why is the starting note still incorrect?” “I didn’t realize.” “It was written in bold on your practice page.” “Huh.”)
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?
Anytime we try something new, there is always a time of transition. This year, my students & I embarked on a new way of doing things in our studio. Granted, we always do something new each year … but, this year it was a BIG one. Setting up a travelling music lab.
After 3 weeks, I thought I would share the successes, the surprises (good & bad), the tweaks, & lessons I have learnt so far. Thankfully, overall the transition has been amazingly smooth & overwhelmingly positive.
Right around this time, Staples always seems to have a commercial with “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” playing in the background. I tried one year to sing the song while in Staples with my kids. While they didn’t have frowns on their faces, they certainly didn’t join in. But, it did seem…
Each year, I try to help my students practice more efficiently. But, the fact of the matter is that without parent involvement there is only so much I can do. Especially with my youngest students who are unable or struggle with reading my (fabulous) practice notes. Once my kids entered school, I developed a whole…
This is the question EVERY teacher would love to hear at the end of each lesson. After all, a student who feels lesson flies by is much more likely to continue taking lessons & even tell their friends about how awesome piano is. Sure it can get a bit awkward when you get to listen to the following conversation.