Kristin Phillips

Kristin Phillips

Kristin has been studying piano since the age of 6 and with the guidance of her family and teachers, began teaching others by 14. After pursuing pedagogy in piano and business administration for a short time - to be continued at a later time, she transferred to studying church music ministry at Portland Bible College. She enjoys editing her website, writing in her spare time, teaching piano students of all ages, and teaching Sunday School at her church.

I trust you are all enjoying your Christmas break!  For me, Christmas is a special time to spend with my family celebrating the birth of my Lord.  I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas.   🙂

This time off means an opportunity to reevaluate the supplies on hand and the organization of everything needed on a day-to-day basis on any given teaching day.

Eliminating the Clutter…
A method I’ve had to adopt is one that simply says, “be critical”… if a book or piece of music or teaching aid or organizational system that you have not used or applied in the last year is in your studio, get rid of it.  Find someone who can benefit from those things you no longer use.  Donate the music, electronics, or storage to a charity or deliver it to a Goodwill store.

Often, by this time of year, I’ve accumulated more than I need in the studio and certainly more than I will ever have the time to implement in my teaching.

Some things to keep on hand…
Of course, your piano!  Whether this is a grand, upright, or keyboard (hopefully not the only instrument you use), it needs to be serviced regularly and tuned by a professional 1-2x/year.
Many teachers opt to keep a supply of commonly used method books in various levels on hand for at least two reasons: *when a student forgets a book, you are easily able to say, “oh!  I have that book waiting just for you… let’s go to the pages you were supposed to work on this week.”  *having the books on hand help with lesson planning.  Unless you provide & invoice books to your students as needed, there is no reason to have more than one copy of each book.

Always have a metronome within easy reach.  Other aids, such as posters, flashcards, white boards, and manuscript paper are useful tools to keep on hand.

Files & Mailboxes… [···]

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We all know that without the extra motivation and accountability from the teacher, students tend to take a break from the piano as well as lessons.  This can be dangerous, in that students will forget what they have learned rather than continue to be challenged in fun and educational ways at the piano.  So, how can we, as teachers, motivate and inspire our students to continue to learn, practice, and enjoy the piano when they are on vacation?!  ?
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Has a student ever had a difficult time mastering a piece?  Have you ever been at a loss as to how to organize a lesson and point students in a forward position toward successful goals accomplished in their practice times.  The following list is not exhaustive, but will hopefully be helpful to all of you as we strive to help our students develop a strong, well-rounded musical education.  This list is based only on the practice of one piece.  Theory, ear-training, sight-reading, application of duets, and much more are different subjects to be addressed at different times.  🙂 [···]

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