One of the biggest challenges for any music teacher is keeping lessons fun and exciting. Why? Because while repetition — doing the same or similar things over and over again — is absolutely critical to one’s growth as a musician, it can also be horribly boring. (And not just for the student; take my word for it!)
Students learn best when their lessons are fun. And let’s face it, boring is almost never fun. Boring is a major reason students don’t practice as much as they should. Boring is probably the main reason most of us have friends or relatives who once took music lessons but quit.
So, if you’re a music teacher, how can you maximize fun and excitement for your students while still ensuring they learn the rudiments that depend so much on repetition?
Get creative by varying repertoire and exercises.
Most music teachers would agree that working on just one piece during the week can stifle a student’s excitement, even when preparing for a performance recital. The key to fending off that boredom and keeping the lessons fresh and dynamic is to create a customized curriculum for each student, consisting of a good mix of pieces and exercises. Exactly how many different pieces and how many different exercises to include in that curriculum will vary based on your students’ levels of experience. But variety is the key.
For every instrument at every level, there are many different techniques, elements of music theory, solo pieces, and ensemble pieces that a student can be working on. Mix things up, and create an exciting set of weekly projects. In the lessons I teach for Lessons In Your Home Baltimore, I like to have at least two, but preferably three, pieces my students work on in the same week. This doesn’t mean that all pieces have to be completed in a week’s time. Just working on a variety of pieces (and exercises) can promote a great sense of accomplishment.
Mix the easy with the difficult.
Another great way to keep lessons fun and rewarding for your students is to vary the levels of difficulty for their weekly exercises and pieces. For example, you might assign a technique, exercise, or etude that is very challenging to execute yet easy to note read.
Or you could flip things around: assign a piece that is difficult to note read yet consists of exercises the student can already perform relatively easily.
Another way to mix easy and difficult is to assign one exercise that can be completed in a week along with another ongoing assignment of a lengthy piece that might take a month to learn.
An Infinite Universe of Possibilities
Music is so magical because, even though there are only twelve notes (in Western music, anyway), the possibilities are infinite.
By creatively designing a personalized curriculum for each student — varying pieces and exercises and mixing easy with difficult — you will not only be making your lessons more productive, but you’ll be encouraging your students to “mix things up” when they practice. In short, you’ll be exposing your students to an infinite universe of musical possibilities.
Lessons in Your Home is designed around doing everything in your home. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. However, our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more.