Author: admin

By Meridith Johnson The days becoming noticeably shorter seems to ring in a new season with yellow school busses packed with children in every seat, excited to head back to school.  Every fall seems to welcome new beginnings as students return to sports, school and activities with a blank page of possibilities ahead this year. Music lessons beginning again for our students this fall also carries with...

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The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. – William Arthur Ward

As summer draws to a close, I reflect on my studio goals for the coming year. September always provides an opportunity to begin anew! This year, I will strive to empower students to be accountable for their own learning. As the above quote states, the most effective teaching is that which inspires the learner. I would like to inspire my students to learn, not for me or for their parents, but for themselves. A tall order. For the students that already have a passion for music, this is easy. My job is simply to keep that flame glowing by assigning appropriate repertoire and challenges. For others, however, it can be difficult to ignite that spark.

Secret Weapons for ProductivityI’m on maternity leave this summer, so my studio is currently closed and I’m not teaching students. However, I’m still running my resource website for music teachers and therapists as well as doing lots of planning for the fall session, so that in combination with a brand new baby means I have to be super productive when actually have a few minutes to devote to my work.

Luckily, I have a few tricks and tips that I rely on when it’s time to get into gear, and since I know that running a studio involves lots of administrative work, I thought I’d share some with you.

TransferInterviewing the Transfer Student

The interview process for the transfer student provides a window of opportunity. First, to see if your studio is the right fit. Second, to assess skills and knowledge, and third, a great way to start planning curriculum if it turns out to be a good fit! I have developed a form I use with a list of activities as well as questions that include the obvious (name, age, date of birth, grade in school, and school that they attend). I take notes on this form so that I can refer back to it later. After the initial questions have been asked, I launch into the following assessment activities.

By Meridith Johnson Practicing.  This topic seems to be highly debated over the years under the umbrella of music education.  With so many different opinions and approaches, what is the best policy or view of practicing? How much should we as teachers require our students to practice?  Or what about students who put too much pressure on themselves and practice too much?  Where do parents play a...

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