Have a conversation…
Every year it’s a good idea to check in with your students to make sure that you’re both on the same page. Many teachers do this via written survey. I prefer to take lesson time to discuss with my students how they feel the past year has gone. Because it’s one-on-one, I start with basic questions and then elaborate according to the student. My basic questions are as follows:
What are you doing better than last year?
How much progress, on a scale of 1-10, do you feel you have made over the past year?
Are you satisfied with that amount of progress?
If not: What do you feel has most impeded your progress? How can I help you in removing this obstacle?
In the short-term, what do you want to be able to do?
In the long-term, what do you want to be able to do? (any specific songs, genre, career plans, etc)
How do you feel you are doing in lessons?
Do you have any specific frustrations?
What do you enjoy most in lessons?
Is there anything we’re not doing that you would like to focus on?
I find that I get a good response with the one-on-one approach. It doesn’t include parents, but the students tend to be very honest and open with me, and it gives us a good chance to communicate and for me to hear student input. Teaching is usually more strongly a one way flow, and I greatly enjoy giving the students direct input into their lessons in this way.
What do you do in your studio? How do you make sure that you and your students are on the same page?