Forum Q&A | New Year’s Resolutions for Piano Teachers

I’ve already blogged a bit about my New Year’s Resolution.  Now it’s your turn!

Our previous Q&A Forum brought about a great discussion about whether or not to lesson plan for piano lessons (and if so, how to feasibly do so even if you have a large studio).  Today, let’s start a discussion about what change you’d like to make in your teaching this year!  I think it’s important as teachers to continually be making little changes and looking for ways to improve our teaching.  It not only makes us better teachers, but it also helps keep things fresh for our students as well as ourselves.  :)

So, tell us:

  • As a piano teacher, what would you like to START doing this year?
  • What would you like to STOP doing this year?
  • What would you like to KEEP doing this year?

Comment away!

Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1142 posts here.

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  1. Posted 4 January 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Just one resolution – to quit acquiring more music and resources and actually use what I have. I really am well-stocked and don’t even realize how much I already have.

  2. Brianne
    Posted 5 January 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I would like to be more organized with all of my music.

    I have got to stop being such a softie with my students and make them buck up and really do what I ask of them!
    I would like to give my students a better organized notebook that they can bring to me each week.

    I want my students to learn how to memorize their pieces! This was always one of my weaknesses.

    • Julie
      Posted 13 January 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Hi Brianne,

      Here’s a memorization tip my old teacher shared that has worked very well for me: buy monopoly money from a dollar store or Zellers (if available). Offer your students $10 per line memorized or $50 per page memorized. Once they save up $300 (and bring it back in to you) they get to pick from your ‘grab bag’: a huge bag stuffed with shredded paper and sprinkled with little trinkets, toys and small gifts (dollar store stuff). I have a separate one for boys and girls. My students usually get to $300 every 6 months to 1 year and really enjoy saving / counting their money and going through the process! Hope this helps.

      All the best,

  3. Margaret
    Posted 7 January 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I agree Brianne, I too must stop being to soft. I shall expect set work to be practiced, but also I must keep my lessons varied and interesting.

  4. Becky Barber
    Posted 8 January 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I would llke to start practicing more myself this year. Teaching takes up so much time! I feel most prepared for my students when I am personally practicing and working on literature myself….and I have been very slack this fall! I will keep up my practice incentive program but plan to have a “scale-a-thon” in February and get the students to get sponsors for each accurate scale they can perform. The money will go to help sponsor a camper for the local Salvation Army music camp. I’m excited about this idea for outreach!

  5. suzi
    Posted 14 January 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy,
    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. Thanks for the tips.
    I nominated you on my “Make a Joyful Noise” blog which is just a fun blog I write on.


  6. Carmel Slater
    Posted 17 January 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy,
    Thank you for your wonderful blog, and as a long term piano teacher (30 years), I think it is really important that we all reflect at any given point on our teaching and look at what works and what doesn’t work.
    My ‘start doing’ is more a continuation of reading and discovering more piano/music blogs and continue to be inspired by the myriad of wonderful teaching/performing ideas which are online. And maybe even start my own blog!!
    I’d like to stop doing too much extra-curricular ‘stuff’ which takes away my energy from piano teaching….so for this year I have cut down on my musical theatre committments (rehearsal pianist/md duties etc)….I love doing it but the time committment is huge!! (Next year maybe!!)
    I have 4 main things that I would like to keep doing….encouraging all my students to compose (amazing what they can do if encouraged…often composing at a far more advanced level than their playing skills), give my students more performing opportunities (eisteddfods, concerts (formal and informal), exams etc), keep searching out new and inspiring repertoire, and hopefully continue to inspire my students to want to learn, discover, play, practice and be proud of their achievements.
    Good luck with your move and keep up your inspirational blogging!!


    • Posted 18 January 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Carmel! If you get that blog going, definitely send me the link when you do! Thanks for sharing your goals for the new year.

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