It’s piano teaching game day, but unlike our usual games, “Who’s In Charge” is actually a piano teaching strategy. Its focus on piano lesson structure means it works best with our youngest students, and works particularly well for our more challenging students.
Structuring Piano Lessons For Your Sanity
“Who’s In Charge” is a visual calendar that outlines the various activities that take place in a piano lesson (finger warm-ups, scales, method book activities, games etc.). Having a visual representation of what they will be doing, and when they will be doing it, helps our youngest and most difficult students keep focused, goal-oriented, and calm.
But… like any piano lesson activity… the visual calendar also must be fun. That’s why, with this piano teaching strategy, we’re putting the students in charge of the piano lesson structure. They get to decide which activities get performed when. Obviously, you will need to set a few ground rules (ie. certain activities like finger warm-ups must come before method book activities), but beyond that, the daily structure is in your students’ hands.
Great For Our Challenging Piano Students
“Who’s In Charge” is a strategy that does not need to be used for every piano student. But for our youngest students and our most challenging students, the idea of having “ownership” over the piano lesson structure can be a very motivational tool.
To build the visual calendar, simply write activity names on strips of card stock, fix magnetic tape to the back, and stick them on a whiteboard. Piano students can then easily change the position of each activity card. If you’re not the crafty type, visit any teacher supply store and you’ll find some really sharp looking visual calendars that can be manipulated to represent piano lessons.
Give it a try, and I guarantee it will make your “challenging” piano students a lot less challenging!