Group Lessons: Planning Curriculum

Photo courtesy of rok1966 on Flickr

Earlier this month, I shared a post about the administrative side of my group lesson program that focused on how I structure and schedule groups.  In this follow-up post, I’d like to share a little more about the teaching side of groups – what a typical group lesson includes, and ideas for adapting group activities to accommodate students of varying levels.      Group Lesson … Continue reading

Scheduling Group Lessons

Group Lessons

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I LOVE teaching group lessons.   Group lessons give students an opportunity to connect with their musical peers, and perform in front of them on a regular basis.  They also give us an extended time-frame to drill theory, listening and rhythm skills (which usually involves a lot of fun and GAMES!!).   … Continue reading

International Week of the Piano Geek

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The internet… it’s the modern music teacher’s best friend, right?   With all of the blogs, forums and social media pages dedicated to independent music teachers, we have the ability to connect with colleagues across the nation and around the world to trade ideas and keep up on the latest teaching methods and resources (and all from the comfort of our couches and PJs!).   … Continue reading

Studio Moving Sale

Sale Sign

A wonderful friend and teaching colleague of mine is preparing for an upcoming move and downsizing her piano studio.  She’s planning a big moving sale for this weekend, and for any of you who aren’t in the Kansas City area, an internet “garage” sale.   If you need some new music for your library, this is a great chance to take advantage of some garage … Continue reading

Spring Cleaning

Music Boxes

One of the things I love about being a music teacher is the cycle that comes with the school year.   My students and I celebrated the end of another successful (and busy!) school year with our studio recitals earlier this month, then all enjoyed a well-earned week off of lessons.   I have to admit… I was ready for some time to relax and … Continue reading

The Holidays Are Coming…

… and this year, I have vowed that I WILL stay on top of sorting through, ordering, organizing, and getting music to my students in a timely manner, so that when the Halloween and Christmas recitals roll around, I won’t be asking myself why we didn’t start our music just a little bit sooner. Each Halloween, one of the local associations I belong to sponsors … Continue reading

Student Activity Binders

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Every good pedagogy student and music teacher knows that it’s important to teach more than repertoire.   There’s lots of extra “stuff” that goes into a well-balanced piano curriculum.   Stuff like theory… and sightreading… and rhythm, technique, ear training, music history, improv, composing… and the list goes on!  During the month of July, I often find that my desk is buried under piles of … Continue reading

Steps to Success

Today was the first day of summer lessons for my studio. I forget how much I LOVE teaching in the summer. Not only do I get to trade in long, crammed nights of teaching for some welcome daytime lessons, but, in a way that doesn’t happen during the school year my students and I get to be mentally “all there” for our time together. Without … Continue reading

Elementary Evaluation Cards

As we prepare for adjudicated festivals through the year, I like to use group lessons as a chance for students to practice performing in front of peer “judges.”  It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about what criteria a judge uses to evaluate a performance, and really listen to a piece and dissect it’s elements. With my older students, I’ll often copy actual judge’s … Continue reading