iPhone users take note! Instagram is about to be your newest guilty pleasure… and is also a great way to add some fun to your piano teaching studio.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo app that allows users to take photos, add fun filter effects, and share with their followers (you can also choose to keep them private). Over 40 million people are Instagram users! It’s a booming trend and as a result many fab little businesses have sprung up to serve all of your Instagram needs. Check out the 4 ways I’ll be using this free app in my piano studio.
1. Mastered Measures
I’ve created a large magnetic board (spray paint an old photo frame a bright colour, insert a piece of sheet metal inside the frame where a picture would go…voila!) and stencilled “Got’cha!”on the top. There are always those measures in every piano piece that are trickier than others. To encourage drill and mastery of this measure, once it’s perfect my piano students get to take a picture with my iPhone of that measure and choose their own fun photo effect. Once I have 9 photos of mastered measures from various students I then hop on over to stickygram.com and order their funky little square magnets (free shipping, $12.99 for 9). It is with great fanfare that my students get to place their “Mastered Measure” on our magnetic board in the waiting area. It’s a fun way to take the “blah” out of those tricky parts of a piece. In fact, students have been asking for piano pieces that are more difficult just to earn their magnet on the board!
2. Mini Music Yearbook
For my piano students who require more to motivate them to complete a piece than just a check mark or a sticker I’ve been taking a picture of them holding open their piano book to the latest piece they’ve “checked off”. My boy students especially love posing in odd and imaginative ways 🙂 Prinstagram.com is the place to head for photo printing of your Instagram photos – and they make adorable little mini-albums with room for 50 photos each. When the students at my studio reach 50 completed pieces they each get a mini music yearbook with photos of them and their piano friends. Kids love anything mini – it’s been a great motivator to complete those pieces and get to 50 as a group (we track it on a chart in the hallway too). These little books are 2 for $12. Parents have been happy to cover the cost.
3. Practice Incentive Markers
Whenever we have a practice incentive program happening at the studio, instead of just using the student’s name I instead use an Instagram photo of the student. When we’re not tracking practice time, these photos “live” under a sign in our waiting area that says “Our Students are Stars”. It’s good advertising (“Look how many students I have!”) and it creates a sense of community in the studio (“Oh! Aidan Jones takes lessons here too!) www.prinstagram is the place to go too for photo printing where you can get 48 photos for $12!
4. Composition Starters
I have a stack of laminated instagram photos of everything from a cat to a water lily. These make for great composition starters – piano students randomly choose a “card” from a hat or a stack and create a motive and a mood for their composition based on what is in the picture. It’s a great way to kick-start their imagination and get them thinking about how the piano can convey meaning. Kids love that instagram photos are small, square and beautiful (the photo filters can really create neat effects). If you can capture their interest with the materials you use you’re one step ahead of the game.
So head on over to the app store, download Instagram for free and get clicking! Use your imagination, and take advantage of the great opportunities the internet provides to bring unique and innovative teaching ideas to your piano studio.
Excited about NEW ideas for teaching piano? We’re full of them! In fact, we had so many we wrote a book! Check out piano teaching guide “Piano Hands Shouldn’t Flip Burgers” and get ready to be inspired!