How Often to Plan Music Lab

Many a teacher has struggled with how often to plan music labs so it doesn’t become a last minute scramble.  Especially when it gets added to the bottom of the never ending to-do list.  (I know this isn’t just me.)

While it can be easy to just pull together something quick before lesson, or worse IN lesson, I promise your students & clients will notice.  And, it will not end well.

Below are 2 options for how often to plan music lab along with the topics that work best for each.  Depending on what you are doing in your studio, or what the goal of music lab is will determine the option that works best.

Use a monthly or 2-month focus

This is the option I used when starting music labs & it works great. 

After having tried monthly & 2-month options.  I would highly recommend every 2-month.  Students have the chance to really get into the apps before moving onto the next focus.  You AND your students will appreciate the extra time.

What are the topics or concepts that your students need extra practice with? 

Or, that fall through the cracks in lesson time?

There is never going to be enough time to cover EVERYTHING in lesson.  So, make the best use of lab time by adding in activities that practice what your students are missing at the piano!

Use an annual studio-theme

While a monthly or 2-month focus works really well, when I added a studio theme to my studio in 2018 things REALLY took off.  

I had been really good at letting students how we were building on what we knew & what was coming up … in our warm-up units & repertoire.  But, I had dropped the ball when it came to lab.  For my students, it was a bunch of units that didn’t necessarily link together in any meaningful way.

Then I added a studio-wide theme & wow!

Parents raved about how much their children loved lab time.

Students raved about the range of activities they experienced over the course of the year.

It was a slam dunk.

And, planning got a whole lot more fun!

How often to plan music labs

Make the most of your planning time with a clear plan

When lab time compliments what is going on in your studio, students feel the connection from beginning to end of lesson.  Otherwise we run the risk of apps taking the place of theory worksheets.  And, no one liked theory worksheets.

Whether you are switching themes monthly, every 2 month, semester or using an overarching annual studio theme, schedule your lab planning around these.

How often do you plan music labs?  And, is that timeline working for you?  Let us know in the comments below!


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