How to Teach Proper Scale Technique – Part One

As a beginning piano student, I was never interested in practicing scales, and I know I wasn’t the only one. In fact, it wasn’t until after studying piano in college that I came to fully appreciate the art of playing scales smoothly and cleanly.

Looking back, I think that I would have had a different experience with scales had I learned a progressive approach to mastering them, as opposed to tackling them incorrectly with lots of frustration.

Luckily, over the years I’ve developed a method for myself and my students that successfully promotes proper technique and appreciation for the exercise of practicing scales which directly translates to the ability to effortlessly execute them within the piano repertoire.

In order to begin practicing scales, a student must have already mastered proper hand position and generally playing with strong, independent fingers.

An important way to teach this is to have the student practice legato 5-finger Pentascales (i.e. C-D-E-F–G) in many different positions until ready to add in the thumb-under and 3rd finger-over techniques used in the one-octave major scale.

During this introductory step, make sure the student’s thumbs are always played on the side, lifted and dropped from the thumb muscles, and never with added arm weight or movement.

Once the student has mastered playing 5-finger Pentascales with proper technique, then the thumb-under technique can be introduced by using the ascending C major scale in the right hand.

There are six steps to this:

1. Have the student place the right hand in C Position and play the 3rd finger on E. Show how to swivel the thumb under the arched hand position while holding down E and without moving the arms or elbow.

Then have the student put the thumb down on F and immediately create a new F position of all white notes, resting all fingers in the position but only playing F.

2. Have the student practice this motion from E to F repeatedly, going from a C Position to an F Position.

3. Now have the student play up the scale in C Position, starting with C, and immediately after letting go of the thumb to play 2nd finger on D, show how to swivel under the arched hand position to get ready to play the F underneath, even as D and E are played.

(This prepares from the beginning how to eventually play faster scales without jarring motions.)

Then after playing E, have the student drop the thumb on F and immediately fall into F Position (Still just playing C-D-E-F).

4. Have the student practice C-D-E-F like this repeatedly, always observing the hand and arm position.

5. Now the student is ready to complete the scale by doing step #4, then when in F Position, playing 1-2-3-4-5 up to C.

6. Practice this with the student until it is smooth and even with no jarring movements or louder notes.

Once this is mastered, it can be translated to the left hand in mirror image, starting from thumb on C and descending the one-octave C major scale.

Next is the slightly easier technique of crossing the 3rd finger over for the ascending left hand scale.

Here are the six steps:

1. Have the student place the left hand in C Position and play the thumb on G. Show how to cross the 3rd finger over the anchored thumb as a pivot without moving the arms or elbow.

Then have the student put the 3rd finger down on A and immediately create a new F position of all white notes, resting all fingers in the position but only playing A.

2. Have the student practice this motion from G to A repeatedly, going from a C Position to an F Position.

3. Now have the student play up the scale in C Position, 5-4-3-2-1, and after playing thumb on G, have the student cross the 3rd finger over the thumb and immediately fall into F Position playing A (Still just playing C-D-E-F-G-A).

4. Have the student practice C-D-E-F-G-A like this repeatedly, always observing the hand and arm position.

5. Now the student is ready to complete the scale by doing step #4, then when in F Position, playing 3-2-1 up to C.

6. Practice this with the student until it is smooth and even with no jarring movements or louder notes.

Finally, once this is mastered, it can be translated to the right hand in mirror image, starting with the 5th finger on C and descending the one-octave C major scale.

I have found that this is the best way to ensure that students practice scales correctly from the beginning, and once it is learned in C major, all the other major and minor scales become much easier!

It’s fun to amaze them by showing how fast, smooth, clean scales look and sound, then telling them that they are now on the way to playing impressive scales themselves.

[The next step is to play hands together, one octave, and then they can learn all 12 major scale fingerings this way. I look forward to showing my process of teaching this in Part 2 of How to Teach Proper Scale Technique!]

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Listening: Better Listeners Make Better Musicians

Piano listening

Between repertoire, technique, sight reading, and theory, there is so much to squeeze into each and every piano lesson.

It’s so hard to find the right balance and feel like you are covering everything your students need.

One area that I neglected for far too long is listening: focused, purposeful listening, listening to pieces together and talking about what we hear, listening with specific objectives in mind that will enhance a concept we’ve just learned.

We sometimes get so focused in lessons about the multitude of details that go into polishing each piece: dissecting, analyzing, and drilling.

It’s easy to become disconnected from our main goal, which is to make music, right?

And music needs to be listened to. So why don’t we listen more?

There are many reasons to make listening to music a priority in lessons just as you would prioritize proper hand position and scale fingerings.

The most basic benefit of listening is that students actually learn how to listen to music. They learn what to listen for.

And becoming better listeners teaches them to become better practicers. And, of course, better players!

Have you ever had a student that was thoroughly convinced she was playing a crescendo when she actually wasn’t?

I find myself telling students to listen carefully to the sound that is coming from the piano, not the sound they hear in their mind. A good listener will have a more discerning ear.

Another benefit of listening is exposure to and appreciation of great music.

I had a scary thought one day after sending a new beginner home with his assignment –

Those simple three-note pieces from his lesson book, and that slightly more interesting piece I taught him by rote? That was probably going to be the only piano music he heard all week!!

Did he even know the amazing possibilities that were beyond the pages of his primer book?

Did he think that the rousing version of Pop Goes the Weasel that his friend played in the school talent show was the pinnacle of piano success?

Did he possibly not know the beauty that exists in a Chopin Nocturne?

In Mozart’s melodies?

Ack! The horror!

We want our students to love music for their whole life, even if they don’t play the piano forever. We hope that they will be appreciative concertgoers, that they will be able to find beauty in music, and solace and joy.

But first, they have to hear the music!

One enormous benefit to more music listening is the easy reinforcement of lesson concepts.

Music is an aural experience that I think we sometimes try to learn non-aurally.

We teach the concept and not the sound. We teach things out of context of the music and sometimes fail to put it back in context. But how many things would come easier to students if they simply listened more?

For example, I want my students to be great at rhythm (as I’m sure you also do), so I teach them to count rhythms and learn to confidently figure them out on their own.

And sometimes I’m afraid that when I demonstrate too much it turns into a crutch for them.

But time and time again, I find that the more I play and demonstrate, the better they become at reading rhythms independently.

Besides rhythm, imagine all of the other things we teach that could be enhanced through listening: meter, articulation, phrasing, tone quality, and so much more!

The more a student hears something, the more it will become part of her aural vocabulary.

And then, what she sees on the page and what we speak about technically, will truly have meaning. Then she will really be able to make music!

One final benefit of listening is inspiration.

This one is sort of the same as exposure and appreciation, but I mention it separately because I think it’s so important.

It’s such an exciting moment when a student listens to a piece and really connects with it!

It’s so cool when a student hears a piece for the first time and cannot get over how beautiful and amazing it is.

Do you remember the first pieces you felt that way about?

Having pieces to look forward to is such an incredible motivator!

The benefits of listening are clear and many. I am excited about the possibilities as I plan out a listening curriculum for my studio to begin this Fall.

Do you already do this with your students? Please share your ideas!

In order to make beautiful music, a student must first hear beautiful music!

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Piano Students: The Reason We Teach

piano students

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I teach piano. Why is it important? Is it important?

What makes it feel worthwhile to me when I’m heading out the door to teach lessons, and my own young children are begging me to stay home?

What keeps me going when I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over and over again some days?

You know what I mean!

What makes me feel inspired and gets me out of a teaching slump?

My answer has definitely changed over the years.

Many studies show that music study can improve academic performance, teach goal setting and time management, increase persistence and responsibility, provide a creative and emotional outlet, and it can bring together communities and cultures.

Wow! Clearly what we do is important, and yet none of those things are why I teach piano.

I teach piano because I love getting to know my students.

We get 30 to 60 minutes each week of one-on-one time with our piano students. Where else do they get that!?

Not at school, not at soccer practice, scouts, dance class, and in some cases not even at home. What an amazing opportunity we have then to be a positive, supportive voice in their ear and an eager and caring listener.

Don’t get me wrong, I know we actually have to teach them piano, too! But I do feel that as piano teachers we are in a unique position to really support and positively influence young people.

And as a bonus, if we have a good relationship with our student, they will be more open and willing to learn from us and be more likely to continue on in piano lessons year after year.

So, how do we do this? How do we build strong relationships with our piano students?

We do this naturally as teachers, but I think it is also possible to find some purposeful ways to further strengthen our student/teacher bond.

First, we show interest in learning about our students. 

I always take time during their very first lesson to do a little getting to know you interview. It might include their favorite color, favorite candy, favorite song,  favorite sports team, extracurriculars, and what they do for fun, among other things.

This information can be used in so many fun ways!  A piece about airplanes might be just the thing to motivate your airplane-obsessed student. Asking a student how her favorite sports team fared during the week is a quick and easy way to connect.

Demonstrating even a basic level of Pokemon knowledge is sure to garner a little respect from a reluctant student!

Remembering to ask how a big test or dance recital went… there are so many ways to show interest and concern for what is happening in our students’ lives.

I also spend the first few minutes of each lesson catching up on what is new with them.

How was their week? How was their day?

To get them talking beyond yes and no answers, ask open-ended questions such as “what is something good that happened today?” or “what made you laugh today?”  

This information may very well change the tone or structure of our lesson that day. If a student missed out on recess at school, we may start the lesson with a jumping jacks challenge to get out some extra energy.

If a student had standardized testing all week, we may just need to have a game day.

If they are upset about something, or happy, or proud, I’m going to do my best to listen and empathize, and then of course, gently steer things back to the music!

Another way we strengthen our student/teacher bond is by showing respect for the students’ ideas and opinions.

Obviously, we have so much we want to teach. It can feel impossible to fit it all in sometimes.  But even in keeping our own agenda, we can find little ways to let the piano students take ownership of their own learning.

Let them choose a piece to study.  Let them choose the order of the lesson activities. Let them tell you why that section needs to be forte instead of piano, and then let them play it forte!

Have a listening exchange, where you have them listen to a piece of your choosing, and then they choose a piece for you to listen to. 

Have them come up with a secret handshake that you will use when something magnificent happens in the lesson.

Again, the possibilities are really endless here. It’s all about letting the student know that you welcome their ideas, and you value them. Respect is a two-way street, right?

And again… an added bonus:  from this trust and mutual respect comes more confident and independent learners.

As teachers, we should never underestimate the positive impact we can have on our piano students.

Imagine, if we can be a bright spot in the week for one student, maybe they will take that light back out into the world!

And that is why I teach.

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About the Author: Ivy Pirl graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in music. While attending FSU, Ivy had the privilege of accompanying both the Women’s Glee Club and the University Singers. Since then she has been an active accompanist in her community and maintains a private piano studio. Ivy is a certified Kindermusik instructor and also the pianist for Acworth United Methodist Church. Ivy lives in Powder Springs, Ga with her husband and 2 children.

6 Tips to Ensure You Get the Most Out of Your Music Conferences

Taking notes at music conferences

Music conferences are a fantastic resource to connect with others in your field and to obtain new ideas to enhance your teaching.

For private teachers especially, this is an opportunity to feel empowered and not alone.

Music conferences can, however, be expensive and overwhelming.

Having a clear-cut plan and realistic expectations will enhance your experience and assist you in getting the most for your money and time.

1.) Find your focus.

Music conferences are expensive, so you should never attend one without a few goals in mind.

Think about the biggest weaknesses in your teaching. Seek out those sessions which address your same struggles and complaints in your teaching.

Also, seek out sessions that reinforce items you are passionate about teaching. Sometimes, it helps to receive affirmation that you are doing the right thing. Also, the presenters may have a different technique for addressing your passion.

2.) Do your homework.

Make sure to peruse the brochure for your upcoming conference to find the sessions that jump out at you.

Titles of sessions are often very appealing, but they may not give you the full story of what the presenter will be discussing. Make sure to read the full description and if you have time, research the presenter.

Finding an article by the presenter will give you a better snapshot of whether or not you’ll be able to sit through an hour-long session to hear what they have to say.

Avoid going to sessions where you consider yourself an expert. Try not to be that person who takes over the session from the audience with a bunch of “this is what I do” statements!

Also know, that not every session will blow you away, but if you can leave with a couple of “AH-HA!!” moments, your money and time has been well spent.

3.) Plan out your sessions.

The biggest obstacle to overcome in attending a conference is deciding which sessions to attend.

Often times, there will be a couple you want to hear that meet at the same time. If this is the case, see if one is offered at a different time. Otherwise, grab the handout from one and then go attend the other.

Sit somewhere that has an easy escape in case one is not what you were expecting, and don’t be afraid to leave if it’s not meeting your expectations.

It’s really hard to leave if you are sitting in the middle of a row near the front and have to climb over people to get out.

Remember, you are not there for the presenters, you are there for your students.

4.) Take a friend.

This one is huge!

First, you can divide and conquer. You have a buddy to go to sessions that you cannot attend and take notes. Also, you have someone to bounce ideas off of after attending sessions.

It’s amazing the ideas that form when you hear what other people are doing in their teaching! It ends up being a spark that ignites your own creativity.

Also, having a friend with you gives you an immediate person to share your excitement with over lunch or coffee in between sessions.

It also serves just to make the entire conference more enjoyable because you know you have someone you know to talk to throughout the event.

5.) Bring supplies.

You need water, gum, mints, snacks, your phone charger, a comfortable bag, and items with which to take notes.

A lot of music conferences will give you a bag with your registration. I like to fold it up and put it in my much-more-comfortable messenger bag.

Don’t bring your computer. As tempting as it is, it becomes a hassle. It’s heavy, and you won’t use it as much as you think.

I have seen people taking notes on an iPad. Still a bit heavy for me, but if that’s how you are most comfortable taking notes, go for it.

Most sessions will have a handout. That’s a great place to take notes. Then you have a frame of reference for what your short-hand thoughts actually meant.

6.) Take your time.

If you’re exhausted, skip a session or the beginning of one. and get a coffee, snack or some fresh air. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready for your next session.

Make sure to see the exhibits and talk to fellow teachers.

Make time for a nice lunch. It helps fuel you for future endeavors in the afternoon and gives you a few minutes to collect your thoughts after the deluge of information you have received.

Happy conferencing!

How about a conference every day of the week? Inspiring students to consistent practice boils down to having access to great resources and learning from and growing alongside like-minded piano teachers in community with one another.

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Transitioning a Student from “I Don’t Like Piano.” to “I Love Piano!”

Smiling Student Playing Piano

Parents who value music in their student’s lives are a tremendous boon to our profession.

From an educational standpoint, you can’t beat music. Math and reading comprehension and they get to make pretty music?

Sign my kid up!

Parents who understand the value of learning music are our allies, our job security.

They know what will best help their little ones grow into responsible adults and will do everything in their power to make sure their precious ones are given every chance to be successful.

They feed their kids vegetables, not because the kids like them, but because it’s good for them, good for their growth.

If music lessons are carrots for kids, how do we turn them into carrot cake?

Start each lesson with a smile.

You know they probably don’t want to be there, so make them feel like you are their favorite.

This is sometimes easier said than done: particularly with the surly teenager set, but sometimes it’s a “fake it until you make it” situation.

I find that with classes/students that are a particular struggle, as I end their time with me with a positive statement, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Not only do I begin to see them that way, they begin to act that way.

Take a moment to get to know your student and make them feel like they are valuable to you.

Help the student make connections.

Take an interest in their other activities. And find music that complements it. When the student starts making connections, they begin to appreciate what they’re learning.

I once suggested a student use a mirror to practice. She was confused, so I asked her why she dances in front of a mirror at ballet practice.

She was much better able to understand the importance of muscle memory and doing the movements correctly and with a discerning eye and ear.

Turn the music into a story and have them tell the story. The student begins to seek stories themselves and really get excited learning a particular song.

Pieces and even etudes are a lot more exciting to practice when you have a story in your head instead of just looking at the black dots and lines!

Give sincere praise.

Showcase to your student and what they are doing well in their lessons. If they pick up a difficult passage quickly that most take much longer to accomplish, brag on them.

A student may not realize that she actually has an innate music gift. Leave participation ribbons out of it. Reward deserving improvements.

When they accomplish something major, bring the parent in to show them something they played well. Or if you teach in a location with many studios, call in another teacher to hear it to reinforce your praise.

Be sparing and cautious, though. It’s very tempting to tell a growing musician that they sound wonderful, but if they don’t, they likely know it, and your praise is no longer valid.

You can tell a student that you loved their energy without making it seem like everything they do is perfect.

Have them choose a song to learn by rote.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the technique, we lose the fun.

I like to ask my students (particularly those that don’t practice) what they would like to learn to play. Then, I allow them to watch me figure out the easiest way to teach it to them using the most basic notes, and then I teach it to them piecemeal.

There’s something about being able to sing the Disney song Let It Go while you’re playing it that really helps a kid enjoy lessons a little more.

Don’t even get me started on Star Wars!

Have a studio social.

If you allow students to socialize, they will play for you.

The reality is that most students do not stick with learning to play an instrument because of the music, the teacher or even because their parents make them.

They continue to play because they experience a camaraderie with other learners.

They like to be part of something, to be a part of a group. Let them see that they are not alone.

Now, this becomes a bit more challenging with private music students, but you can help foster this sense of camaraderie by hosting group lessons on occasion, or other group music events.

It will take a little extra effort to schedule these types of events, but I promise it’s well worth it!

When parents and students mingle, you’ve forged a bond and facilitated a love for learning.

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Working With the Over-Scheduled and Stressed Music Student

music student stressed

There are a vast number of opportunities that compete for time with music students today.

Sports used to be limited to one season and only a couple of practices a week. Now, there’s travel ball, extra practices, three-a-days, private lessons and extra camps.

Students are pushed to the max in school as well.

The couple of AP or honors classes that were offered in the past are now replaced by multiple AP class availability in all subjects as well extra tutoring sessions, future this-that-and-the-other clubs that seem to be so important, not to mention all the requirements of the typical student-athlete leave our kids today with little free time and even less music time!

So how do we deal with the hyper-scheduled and overly-stressed music student?

Employ the parents.

Many times, it is parental ego that over-schedules the kid.

They have high hopes of college scholarships and maybe even professional goals for their kids that are a bit unrealistic in other areas, especially sports.

Know your parents. If this is where their thinking is, you can use this to your advantage. Remind them that while all schools have a football team, not all football players can move around an instrument at a high level.

Playing an instrument for a number of years sets them apart from other student-athletes with similar prowess on the field and make them more well-rounded.

Help them understand that music is a quality of life thing, and their child should not miss out on the opportunity to really understand it.

It is very rare to hear someone say they wish they had never taken music lessons. Instead, they wish their parents had not allowed them to give up on it.

They understand the value of music or they wouldn’t have brought their child to you.

Give them opportunities to see professionals in concert as a family. Encourage them to unplug and connect with our past.

What were those people living through when that masterpiece was created?

Be realistic.

Instead of focusing on creating a concert pianist or symphony musician, focus on creating a lifelong lover of music: one who will support the arts with enthusiasm and understanding.

These kids are the future audiences. Help them want to be!

Music may not be the top priority in your student’s life now, but it will always be something they can remember.

There are bound to be a couple of things outside of music or even one major one that hits the top for them. If it is not music (what?!?!?!), figure out what is and help show them how music adds to it rather than taking their time away from their primary desire.

Liken music to their other passions, and they will make room for it.

Be their light.

In the world of hyper-extended and overly stressed students, you have the
opportunity provide their respite. You may not realize how broken and defeated they are when they arrive for their instruction.

Show them how music is the break in their life: something to turn to when everything else is overwhelming. It becomes an outlet for their frustration, sadness, and even hyperactivity. It can be that one thing that helps them find their center.

With that in mind…

Program accordingly.

You have the opportunity to tap into those emotions they are already feeling and become increasingly expressive. Boom! Two birds, one stone.

Choosing appropriate repertoire is one of the most of the important aspects of our teaching. We need to select music that is attainable and exciting, that challenges but motivates.

Choose music that explores nuances that the student has not yet encountered that they can recognize in other concert pieces, pop songs, and movie soundtracks.

Know your student’s schedule. What are they actually physically capable of scheduling in terms of practice time?

At best, they’re getting ample practice time in at home. At worst (normal scenario for many), they’re only able to accomplish a little during lesson time.

When a student is able to achieve a high level on a piece of music, it only motivates them to reach higher! 

Four Strategies for Teaching Students to Play Music with Expression

musical expression

Okay. Posture is good. Technique is learned. Rhythm is solid. The notes are right. The dynamics are played (albeit cursorily), yet the music is lacking something.

Specifically, it is lacking music.

It is lacking that moment where the child transitions from playing the dots on the page to playing something that moves them (and you) to something that takes the breath away!

So, how do we teach students to play with expression?

Here are four simple, but effective strategies:

1.) Sing It.

The first step in being able to take your student’s breath away is to teach them where to breathe!

The easiest way to do this is to have them sing the melody. It always blows my mind that more music teachers do not have their students sing.

It is critical!!

When students sing, they find the natural rising and falling of the musical lines. They figure out where it feels right to breathe. Sing with them, then let them out on their own.

But I must warn you: the first time you ask your students to sing, they will not sing musically, and they will probably balk so fiercely, that you will never want to ask them to do it again.

Push through! It’s important.

2.) Move It.

Kids are naturally expressive beings. Physically, they skip and twirl and move and clap to anything that excites them.

When it comes time to learn music, we take away this natural inclination and instead focus on getting them to sit still and correctly.

Being overly focused on perfect posture in your students can unwittingly instill a sense of rigidity in their playing.

Without the freedom to move musically, the students miss the opportunity to make the music move.

This must be un-done carefully.

We don’t want our students to move so much that it is a distraction to their performance, but we do want them to have the freedom to engage with the music.

Using the concept of arrival and departure notes is an excellent way to begin tying together physical expression with musical expression.

Have students lean into arrival notes such as the top of an ascending line that is getting ready to come back down.

Naturally, their bodies will cause their hands to add that subtle crescendo you have been trying to accomplish.

Next, have them lean back into the bottom of a phrase.

At first, it will be very awkward to them to do and for you to watch: it’s kind of like watching those glass ducks that dip their faces into a cup of water.

However, the more they do it, the more natural it becomes, so it is a worthwhile strategy.

3.) Act it out.

I find my students play more expressively when they identify with the piece of music!

I like to make up stories to go along with whatever they are playing.

Sometimes, the stories are easily given to us, like a piece titled Dragonhunter. Sometimes, not so much (ex. the title Prelude).

If you lack an idea, go with one of theirs! The stories do not even have to make sense; they just have to make a picture.

“In this measure, the dragon is hiding, can you hear the heartbeat? Right here, the dragon jumps out, and the battle begins!”

Having the students identify and relate to the music will encourage them to explore new musical options.

I also love using analogies in my teaching.

When teaching a piece of music, I like to find similarities within the structure. Then, I liken it to everyday living.

For example, if a composer makes the same statement three times in a row, it likely should be expressed differently in at least one of the statements.

If you were telling the same story to the same person three times in one sitting, you would change your expression or hand gestures to keep it interesting.

Why would we not do that in music? It just makes sense!

4.) Demonstrate it.

The most important thing you can do for developing a sense of musicianship in your students is to demonstrate best practices.

Make sure you model for them.

It is important for them to see a talented, experienced musician practice the way they should practice.

I hope these four simple, but effective strategies help you in your important work!

Remember to sing it, move it, act it out, and demonstrate it 🙂

Happy music making!!

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!

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