piano teacher and 9 ways to be a better teacher today. continued.

better piano teacher
Be a better piano teacher

5 look for fun rewards
Students will often do really well if you just give them a little praise each week but I find it increasingly true in society today that they often need a little more incentive. Stickers are of course the go to reward for teachers and they usually work great and are very economical. However try and find new fun ways to mix things up this will keep lessons fresh for you and keep you and your students from falling into ruts. This semester I am trying a few new things that already seem to be working great for example if my students are really good at their recital this year instead of making them dress up in their normal dressy clothes I am going to let them dress up like different Christmas characters ie. Christmas trees, reindeer… This will be a lot of fun for them and for me and they will look absolutely adorable. I also got a really cool picture frame and every week I am printing out a practice of the week to put in it. So far this has worked fantastically! Students love seeing their name there and get a sense of accomplishment and distinction. It also motivates my other students to practice more in hopes of their name making it onto the frame.
6 have recitals
Recitals are hard because they are often a lot of work for basically no money. However, I highly suggest trying to have one at least once a year. Parents love recitals because it’s a way to measure improvement in their kids, they love seeing them perform, and it gives value to the lessons, provides a goal for students to work for, and is also something they can invite family to show off their kids. Do what you need to do to make it work and to make it profitable for the students. This year I will be trying my first reception after the recital kind of as a way to reward the kids for their hard work. I am hoping this will get parents talking and networking in addition family is often invited who may know of other students looking for teachers.
7 smile
This is one of the most simple ways to drastically improve lesson but we often forget to do it because it requires a little more energy from us as teachers. Students will rarely get excited about lessons if the teacher is not excited about lessons. Try and get into the habit of smiling a lot during lessons and being excited about what the kids are learning. Smiles and optimism are contagious and will drastically improve the quality and value of lessons.
8 ask more questions. his kind of ties in to a few of my previous suggestions but I wanted to expand on in a little more. As a student I could easily tell the teacher who valued me as a student and those who valued me as a paycheck. The most basic difference between the two is that those who valued me as a student asked question about my life and would ask follow up questions each week. Again, if you need a reminder before a students lesson go get a notebook its worth the investment. Find out what the students interested are outside of lessons, do they play sports, do they have siblings, are they planning any cool vacations. Any information is good information. I often will find out a student plays sports and the next week my first question was did you win your game? This goes a long way with kids and you will find them opening up to you and really being excited to see you each week. In addition sometimes if you can tie in their interests to piano you can make more headway in their lessons as well. If the student loves sports relate the issues they are working on to sports and you just might get through to them better.

9 allow a little fun time. sometimes I have to remember that it is ok to take a few minutes and just have fun with the students. I often feel that I am not using my half hour wisely if I am not working the whole time on the music. This can feel as if you are not worth the money you are being paid and are cheating parents. Remember that most parents do piano in part so that the students can have fun. Most families will be fine with you taking a few minutes and simply investing in their kids. One of the best reviews I got from a parent didn’t say anything about how much their child improved in piano but how I was a huge blessing and influence in their child lives. If lessons start to get boring or yours and your student focus isn’t there remember its ok to take a few minutes and just talk and laugh a little.

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