tips

I really enjoy having the option to send out lesson notes after a lesson through the Music Teacher’s Helper website. I find this is a great way to recap a lesson, reiterate the main theme of that lesson, and to remind me of what occurred in the student’s previous lesson, as the notes appear on my daily summary. As I teach solidly with very few breaks in between lessons, I keep a notebook on my piano that I jot notes into for lesson notes. When I sit down at my computer (sometimes that evening, and often times the next morning) I have a reference to go to on what happened at a student’s lesson and what comments I would like them to take away from that lesson.

When creating lesson notes each week, I always try to touch on something positive that happened in the lesson. Sometimes that may be as small as “Nice job being on time three weeks in a row!” or as large as “Great improvement! You are on to a new level!” I also have my students keep a “Voice Notebook” that I write in, as well as they write in. [···]

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Teaching music requires basic tools like staff paper, textbooks, good instruments, patience, people skills, and years of practice. But over time, every teacher discovers various tools and tricks that makes their job much easier.  Some are obvious (like a chord stamp) and some are not as obvious (like an over door shoe organizer).   Here’s a list of 10 teaching tools and tips.

1)  The MGT Mountable Gig Tray

This item started out on crash cymbal stand for my drum kit.  It was exclusively used at gigs by student drummers. At home, it started becoming my pencil holder during band practices.  One day, after trying to organize the clutter of tuners, rosin and other teaching related items, I had an insight.  I unbolted the Gig Tray from the crash stand and carried it to my lesson studio.  I attached it to the music stand in my teaching studio. Now it keeps my pencils, tuners, metronome, picks, capo, rosin, rosin remover, index cards, cables, and even a drum machine all organized and close at hand.  Even the students noted the improvement in the flow of their lessons simply because items were within easy reach for both teacher and student.  More product info at:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Rhythm-Tech-Mountable-Gig-Tray-100371954-i1139559.gc

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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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