Motivating music students - the FUN way!
Below I have included a simple outline or schedule to help piano students and parents of piano students break down their practicing into segments. But before we break down the practicing time into individual chunks, I think it is important to understand what the purpose of practicing the piano (or any other instrument, for that matter) is, and why we are doing it. Here are some questions I have my own piano students answer (along with a free downloadable PDF you can use in your own studios):
Click on the image below to download the FREE questionnaire PDF you can use in your own piano studio or with your piano students:
I often hear from parents that they would like to have an outline for what and how their children should practice the piano each day. I generally teach older and more advanced piano students and adults, and though I give them an outline of how to practice and talk about what they should work on, I don’t really micro manage their practicing for them by breaking down every piece and exercise into specific timetables or playing each piece 5 – 10 times with the right hand, then the left hand, then both hands together (even though I tell them during their lessons that they should do that with every piece as often as needed until the piece is polished and performance perfect). Instead, I allow them to work out how many pieces they will learn in a year (20, 50, 75, 100, etc.). We can take that number and break it down into smaller micro goals to accomplish by learning, let’s say, two or three pieces per week depending on how many they would like to learn in a year, month, week, etc.. In addition, I have piano students choose their own music (at least one song per month). I find it helps if the student selects their own music and has a say in what they want to play. After all, they are the ones who will be practicing/playing the piano during the week. If they don’t like the pieces, no one will enjoy the piano lessons (including the piano teacher, the parents, and the student). Here is a recommended or suggested practice schedule for piano students. This is only an idea or suggestion. If you have something else you are doing that is working, please keep doing that instead. This will give you a basic foundation or structure you can use with your own piano students. I switch it up and change the amount of time in each area. Sometimes we only do repertoire, and other times we only do exercises, ear training and sight reading. You can structure this to best fit the needs of the individual student. See what works best for you and your piano student and stick with that. Again, these are only ideas to help get you thinking.
Click on the image below to download the FREE PDF image of my (Jerald’s) Suggested Practice Schedule for Piano Students. Again, please feel free to modify this any way you’d like:
Click on the image below to download a FREE 4 page PDF resource I wrote on THE BEST PRACTICE HABITS FOR THE PIANO.
I hope you have a wonderful day today. Make it matter. Make it count. Live life deliberately, intentionally, and purposefully!
Smile all the while and BE HAPPY!
Have a Musical and Magical Day!
Thanks - Jerald
Music Mentor, Composer, Author
My name is Jerald Simon and I help teen and adult piano students learn to play piano the FUN way by teaching music theory, improvisation, and composition. I refer to these as Theory Therapy™, Innovative Improvisation™, and Creative Composition™. Within these three areas of musicianship, we focus on mastering Piano FUNdamentals (emphasis on the word FUN). My company is called Music Motivation® and we create COOL SONGS, Essential Piano Exercises, Piano FUNdamentals, video courses, weekly online group piano lessons, workshops, seminars, music books, albums, and so much more!
My goal is to help you learn how to play any style of music you want on the piano in any key – with or without music. I want students to learn and know how to read any piano music placed in front of them and play it as it is written. But I also teach you how to take any music and play it at least 100 different ways in any key and any genre or style you want from classical to new age, jazz, blues, rock, pop, ballads, country, etc.. I encourage students to take the music theory we learn in our weekly online group piano lessons and learn how to improvise, arrange, and compose music of their own. I help piano students discover their composer within.