JWY! Teacher Resource Blog

Wellesley Teacher Tips 2016

Posted by Merrily James on Sep 20, 2016 1:15:02 PM

1. Use A Dozen A Day to improve sightreading. 

2. Take a moment of meditation before the lesson to focus. 

3. Stay organized!

4. Use Games and apps on phone such as the Star Wars Note App. 

5. If a student's attention is waning, pretend the piano is lava and you can't touch it with anything but your hands.

7. Create a rapport, and relate music to other things your student likes (ie soccer balls!)

8. At beginning of the first lesson, play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on mod wheel to show how awesome the keyboard is. 
9. Use a pencil to point at the note along in time while your student plays. 
10. Draw a floor map and make spit balls, the student says and plays the note it lands on. 
11. Use eartraining exercises as a part of the lesson.
12. Have your student find patterns, then move those patterns around.
13. To warm-up, ask your student about their day or something they are really interested in. Find a parallel about music and segway into the lesson. 
14. Remember everyone has different learning styles. Change it up if you need!
15. Improv trick: hold pedal down and play Eb and tell them to play any black keys, or play Csus and have them play all white keys. 
16. Use call and response in improv, i.e play a blues in left hand, have them repeat melody you play in right hand or give them finger numbers to use. 
17. Record little snippets of songs or make up songs together, and at end of year cut a CD they can keep. 
18.  Charge students huge amount of fake money for making mistakes or give them fake money if they can complete a song (i.e play with both hands all the way through). 
19. Record a video whenever a student finishes a song. 
20. Show the inside of the piano to connect the physicality of how everything works. 
21. Students need to connect in the moment. Be open and fluid. 
22. With more advanced students give them a familiar piece of music with no name and have them guess what song they are playing 
23. With you young kids it's hard to explain counting with all notes. Use Hopscotch for rhythms - say the name of rhythm (i.e half note, whole note) and they hop for how many beats it's worth. 
24. Make students say the notes as they play. 

Tags: teacher tips