“See how far you can learn by next lesson.”

“Perhaps you might be ready to take a music exam soon.”

“Practice when you can.”

Vagueness is the dark cloud that can potentially hang over music lessons. Indeed, I’ve been guilty of it in my own music lessons. Maybe it’s my British reserve that has made me concerned not to appear too pushy with my music students. But herein lies the serious danger of inadvertently demotivating a student.

The lesson was brought home to me when some time ago, a music adult student commented that she was so  [···]

photo by: John-Morgan
Read More

Motivating Students to Practice more…

Students enjoy learning interesting facts about the composers of music they like to play and listen to.  It can be really exciting for them to learn what is ‘behind the scenes’, motivating them to want to practice more too.

Composer Time Capsules

As Samantha Coates suggests “It is not your job to motivate students. It is your job to create the environments in which students will motivate themselves.”   As part of our students’ theory classes, we have been learning about a Composer of the Month.  We have found that group classes offer a great way of motivating students.  Students discuss and understand more about the music that they want to learn to play.  They are also learning music history at the same time as well as learning some music theory.

Read More

Goals, assignments and parental involvement

Motivating younger students to practice —  how do you do that?

My new year’s resolution this year was to get my younger students learning more quickly by motivating them to practice much more between lessons.

This was initially started by setting their goals, getting parents on board to help, and by weekly assignment ‘to do’ lists.  Many helpful sheets are available online to fill in to help with all of that (*).

In my opinion, all of these are very important in order to start creating a suitable practice environment for the year. However, practicing their instruments between lessons was a challenge for most of my younger students.   [···]

Read More