Author: cconrad

As a piano teacher, I have found that one of the most effective motivational tools in encouraging my students to practice is by providing them with performnce opportunities throughout the year so that they have something that they are always working toward. In the next few weeks, I’ll be assigning pieces for our end-of-the-year recital, and I find myself spending a great deal of time selecting pieces that will fit students abilities and interest. Here’s a few tips for teachers as you seek to find appropriate performance numbers for the students at your studio, and please feel free to list any ideas that work for your students in the comments section below.

In a recent music teachers workshop, a professor from our local university’s music department gave an excellent presentation on the topic of motivating your students. I imagine this is something every studio owner struggles with, and since students who aren’t motivated have a tendency not to progress and not to enjoy what they’re doing, this can also affect student turnover.

I believe that in order for my students to be successful, and in order for them to become long-term students, the most important thing I can do is have a strong and broad base of parents. The parents must be willing to invest a great deal of time into getting them to lessons and practicing with them at home. Lessons of any sort are a commitment not just on the part of the child, but on the part of a parent, too. The happier your parents are, the more likely you are to develop a long-lasting relationship with the student. Parents are integral to the success of your studio.

I love the holidays and the opportunities it presents for me as a studio owner. Last month, I shared some of the ways that I use Halloween in all its glory to generate some performance and marketing opportunities at my studio. With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve switched out my pumpkin and witch practicing stickers for the likes of Santa and his elves.


Pretty much any piano method book has a supplementary book for the holidays, making a holiday recital a pretty easy thing to throw together. But rather than a typical performance at a typical recital venue, I like to use the holidays to teach my students that they can use their musical gifts to serve others. Each year, we select a local nursing home and have students perform their holiday pieces for a get-together there. The residents love it, and often students will go beyond just playing a piece and bake cookies or color cards for the residents and interact with them after the performance. Students also enjoy the casual, laid-back atmosphere as opposed to a more formal venue — it’s not unusal for a student to perform in a Santa hat or even sing along to others’ playing. Since I also teach 2-3 year old music classes, they will accompany my piano playing on bells or another percussion instrument to a Christmas carol.

The holidays are the perfect time to utilize fun and original ideas and enhance performances, lessons and even marketing. Halloween is a popular, kid-friendly holiday that lends itself to some exciting opportunities for the studio. Performances This year my collaborative fall recital with other teachers in my local association fell three days before Halloween. The students that performed from my studio played a variety of Halloween-themed pieces, with a duet of Grieg's...

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