At this time of year, I am always torn between finishing out the year with a bang & wanting to get going on next year’s plans. So this week, I wanted to share the articles & ideas that kept my excitement up … during a time of year that typically leads to burn out.
I’ve been very cognizant of the fact that in the next 5 1/2 weeks, we will be:
- Having our studio recital … and, some students are still working on learning their songs!
- Finishing up our composition project & getting a performance aspect to it done … though now I’m not sure if we will have time for my original idea so I’m scrambling for a back up plan.
- Student-led conferences with parents to see how far their kids have come this year.
- Last group lessons of the year … ending with group lessons worked really well last year & kept our excitement going until the very end!
The life of a studio owner! But, I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Below are 5 ideas that have fired me up for both the next few weeks & next year’s overall plan!
5 Ways to Master Rhythm
For next year, I would like to incorporate more whole body movement & brain break exercises with my students. 5 Ways to Help Your Students Master Rhythm has specific ideas on how to help students learn various rhythms both on & off the bench. It’s been added into my Evernote so that these ideas can be incorporated throughout the year!
The big goal in the next 2 weeks, is to ensure all my students are ready for the recital. Thankfully, Julie Knerr graciously shared how she is having her students practice for their recital! 20 Ways to Practice For a Recital will give my students plenty of ideas on how to practice their repertoire in meaningful ways. Students will be emailed the ideas & they can either print them off to track them straight on the page or they can choose to fill them in digitally with Notability or Markup.
While I don’t typically have students that sit exams in my studio, I like knowing what options are out there. Between various method books & exam levels, I have used them as a framework for what I would like my students to accomplish each year. After all, they have done the research … & I can reap the benefits of that. While I grew up in the Royal Conservatory of Music system, recent changes have meant that I am more open to other boards.
The Ultimate Guide to Piano Exam Syllabuses was a great podcast & now that I’ve had a chance to skim the article, it has also gone into my Evernote for future reference when I have a student that is interested in a Rock, Pop, or Jazz exam.
Oh, the things I have tried in order to organize my books & sheet music digitally … & the things I have tried in order to track what my students have played. Spreadsheets (both on paper & digital), Evernote (note for each student), Google Drive (annual plan with space for songs students have mastered) … & at this point, just listing the song as mastered in Planboard (my online app for planning lessons/providing practice pages). None has worked in the long term though some have been more easily managed within lesson time than others.
Finally a Way to Track Repertoire! seemed like it might fit the bill. While I need a chance to set it up & try it, Natalie seems to have found a quick & easy way to not only input the repertoire in the studio library, but the repertoire students play as well. Having one system in Evernote that solves 2 problems is just brilliant!
Getting Students to Explore Their Music In Different Ways
I always love reading new ideas that I can quickly implement that day into my teaching. After our recital, I will be encouraging students to participate in a “Get SMART with your music” challenge using songs they have learnt throughout the year!
Shelly Davis has shared how she gets students to get SMART with their music in her studio & I love the simplicity of it! In Get SMART with your Music…..Again, Shelly had student examples of how her students changed one (or more) of the following:
I highly recommend listening to the Piano Parent podcast to hear how Shelly’s students took these ideas & made them their own!
What Has You Excited?
In a time of year that seems to bring out the burnout, what ideas or activities are keeping your motivated & excited to teach each day?
List your ideas below & let’s make burnout a thing of the past!
Have a great weekend!