Announcements, improving as a teacher

Thoughts for the New Year

The new year always brings about a time of reflection for me.  I find myself thinking back over the past year and looking forward to the future, wondering what the new year might bring.

This year was a time of great change for my husband and me.  In May, I graduated with my Master of Music degree.  We also moved to a new state.  It has been an adjustment to be out-of-school.  I still keep myself just as busy as I was during grad school, but it’s a different kind of busy.  Instead of having a schedule where nearly every half-hour of my day was portioned out to a class, rehearsal, or other appointment, my schedule is suddently much more flexible.  Now I have the flexibility to choose when I complete the items on my “to-do” list.  And I have to time to work on various projects that I never would have had time to do during grad school. Continue reading “Thoughts for the New Year”

improving as a teacher, Motivation

Teaching With the Student’s Goals in Mind

This week I gave a few first lessons to some new students.  One of the things I always ask during the first lesson/interview is:

What are some of your goals in taking piano lessons?

Here are some examples of answers I’ve received from students:

  • I want to be able to play classical pieces that everyone knows (i.e., Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata, Bach’s Minuet in G, etc.)
  • I want to be able to play hymns and hymn arrangements for church services.
  • I want to be able to play from chord charts to play with my church’s worship band.
  • I want to record a Christmas CD for my family.  (This was a fun project! We worked on Christmas pieces over the whole summer.)
  • I like to play by ear but but I want to learn how to read music too.
  • I just want to get better at piano just because I enjoy playing for my own enjoyment.

I’m always surprised at the variety of answers I receive when I ask this question.  Not all students have specific goals in taking lessons, but it’s always worth asking because you may be surprised at what you learn.  Knowing the student’s goals can help the teacher make the piano lessons more relavent to them.   Continue reading “Teaching With the Student’s Goals in Mind”

Forum Q&A's, improving as a teacher, Studio Business

The January Forum: What are your teaching goals for 2011?

Last month’s discussion forum brought out some great comments from you all! Most of you agreed that the teacher should play something on student recitals when possible, as long as the piece is not overly showy.

The dicussion topic for the January Forum:

Do you have any teaching goals for 2011? What changes or improvements would you like to make in your studio this year?  What other goals do you have for yourself or your students?

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reassess and set attainable goals.  Here are a few quick ideas just to get you brainstorming…

  • Improve the studio business end-0f-things.
  • Focus more on technique.
  • Focus more on functional skills.
  • Gain 5 more students.
  • Incorporate more interactive games/activities in the lesson.
  • Better communication with parents/students.
  • Tailor lessons to individual students more.
  • Get organized.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: somethingmarissa | CC 2.0