Interrupting the Pattern – The Secret to Engaged Students

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to play the piano.

She was timid at the start of each lesson especially in the beginning but began to open up a bit more week by week.

One rainy day she bolted into her lesson room wide-eyed and more excited than her piano teacher had ever seen her before!

“Mr. Chris!” She loudly proclaimed.

“I’m so excited to tell you that…”


What a cliffhanger, huh?

My apologies! It’s not a real story. But I’m trying to make a point.

Did it interrupt the pattern you’re used to seeing on this blog?

Hopefully, so.

You, see, we humans are creatures of habit. But we’re also creatures who long for variety.

We want to be enchanted in some way from time to time.

This is why we like going to the movies or catching up on our favorite shows. It’s why we appreciate something new for dinner from time to time.

Variety is good!

Kids are the same way, you know?

They long for variety too.

And here’s a secret (just the truth!) – Interrupting the pattern from time to time is the secret to engaged piano students.

When was the last time you started the piano lesson a little bit differently? Perhaps, you were more humorous than usual.

Or maybe you began the lesson with a unique question related to one of your student’s pieces.

Or perhaps you began playing a song that you’ve been practicing just to see your student’s reaction and get her initial feedback (Did she like the piece? Why or why not? How did the piece make her feel?).

You can get really creative with this concept with beginners, involving lots of visuals, such as toys and little games.

Visuals and props work well for middle schoolers also, just make sure you choose items that are on their level 🙂

So, I encourage you to interrupt the pattern from time to time.

Enchant your students. Engage them in unique ways.

I promise you’ll see a massive benefit in the lesson room from this little bit of extra effort.

Happy teaching!


Would you like helpful resources (such as fun scales exercises and articles) from PracticeHabits.co delivered directly to your inbox?

Well, just click the link below to get on the mailing list. It’s totally free!

Sharing is caring!

2 Replies to “Interrupting the Pattern – The Secret to Engaged Students”

  1. I find some students love singing which I encourage during a piano or keyboard lesson. I also encourage moving to the pieces whether clap, tap or dance in rhythm. It helps them feel the style and changes the energy level of the lesson.

    1. This is good, Diane! I think encouraging students to “feel” the music as you say is something that teacher’s don’t do enough. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) I had a student dance in class! This would definitely shake things up 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *