Program Development

A student signs up for lessons. He and his family are super enthused.

“He’s so naturally musical,” his proud parents tell you at his first lesson.

“He practices all the time. We don’t even have to ask him!” his parents marvel two months in.

And then…maybe in 6 months, maybe in a few years, there’s the all too familiar…

“Getting him to practice is such a fight.”

“He’s so busy with sports and school work, it’s hard to find time to practice.”

“I’m tired of battling him to practice. We’re going to take a few years off from piano and see where things go.”

How do we, as teachers and studio owners, stop this from happening? While certainly there will be counsel and encouragement needed throughout the students years of instruction, I believe that setting the stage before a student even begins lessons can be the most effective in combating the above scenario from playing out.

My college vocal instructor often commented: “The voice is a slow moving instrument.” What he meant was that in terms of development, students are often unaware of the changes that are taking place. I often have students ask me if they’re doing well in voice lessons because they don’t hear the difference between the singing they did at the onset of their lessons and the...

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By Patrick Fritz I have a repetition tool that I consistently use with my students. It is simple, small, sturdy, and novel enough that elementary and middle school students are always curious about how it works. But it is not so complex that it derails a lesson. I call it a “bead counter” but the product name is “Golf Abacus.” I keep various sizes and colors...

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We all have a bag of lessons we tend to teach every single student at one point in their lessons. For example, all of my students learn the C Major Scale in the first lesson, everyone eventually learns an Improvisation exercise, etcetera, etcetera. After a few too many occasions of students forgetting how to do what I showed them, I realized, I should have a YouTube channel. That way, as soon as I finish my lesson, I can send them a link to the video in my Music Teacher’s Helper Lesson Notes. So far it’s been great!

Students love being able to see the videos while they practice. It’s like having me there with them throughout the week. Here is an example of one of my videos: