Let’s Get Outside! Instead of students gazing outside wishing they could be there … move those music lessons from the piano to the backyard with these easy ideas!
Last week, we looked at the Dreaded June Slide. It’s that time of year where it is oh-so-easy to just let go & coast to end of the month. But, is that really what’s best for our students?
Regardless of whether your studio runs on regular schedule, holds group lessons, has summer camps, or takes a complete break over the summer months, it’s important to recognize that our students need something different right now. They are tired, both mentally & physically. Plus, with end of year exams, projects, outdoor sports & more out-of-town activities on the weekends … it really isn’t a wonder that our students, their families, & perhaps even us, as teachers, need a change.
These are the apps & activities my students are doing this month to ensure they are summer ready for whatever they choose to play!
June. The weather is perfect for dinners on the patio, a fantastic fruity drink in hand, kids running around with their friends not to be seen for hours, visiting with friends in the extended evenings & relaxing in the sun (or shade, if you burn like I do).
Or, perhaps your June looks a little more like our home & you are ready for summer to be here.
These are the signs that your students or you are done … & what to do to keep the excitement going until the very last lesson.
Chances are your studio is already well into recital prep. Students are learning or mastering new repertoire, you are working out the last details on the program, & parents are checking their calendars to ensure they will get their budding performers to the venue on time.
How can you get your students excited about their recital repertoire? This is my top 6 tips to making recital prep a time of celebration!
We all know that practice tends to drop off during vacation times. Between family trips & a more relaxed home schedule, piano practice tends to fall through the cracks. I used to exhort my students to continue practicing over school holidays so that they could “keep up their progress”. When we got back to lesson, I typically got a long list of reasons why the student had not practiced over the break.
Rather than continuing to stress about the practice or lay the blame game, I decided to do something different. Hold a studio challenge!
I have a deep, dark secret. I don’t spend nearly enough time on music history in my studio. But, it’s something I want to change & have rounded up some tools to help do that!
This month, my students are delving into the interesting world of classical music composers. I’m giving you access to all the activities & materials I used to make this group lesson a success!
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.