Feeling a little down? Don’t worry… you’re not alone. It’s “Blue Monday”, the most depressing day of the year. In fact, Blue Monday happens every year in January. And it’s all very “scientific”. According to Wikipedia, Blue Monday is determined using the following formula:
Where Weather = W, Debt = D, time since Christmas = T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions = Q, low motivational levels = M and the feeling of a need to take action = Na.
Silly? Maybe 🙂 A great excuse to pump it up this week in your piano lessons to inject some fun? Absolutely! There are 6 days left in the week, so here’s a new and fun idea for each one of them. (Pssst… rotate the days that you use these ideas and you’ll keep your students entertained for the next 6 weeks!!)
6 Ways to Energize Your Piano Lessons And Shake Away the Blue Monday Blues
1. Inch Worm Intervals
Grab a bucket of gummy worms and play this completely simple game. You are guaranteed to have your students’ attention as they’ll be waiting for the “Okay you can eat them!”. Place one gummy worm on the lowest note on the piano. Ask them to place their worm a chosen interval higher (ie. Put your inchworm a 6th higher). Continue until your worms have inched their way all the way up the piano. For more advanced students you can specify major/minor/augmented/diminished. Select a new, clean gummy worm for eating at the end 😉
2. Grab Bag Sight Reading
Decorate 3 brown paper bags with colorful cutouts. Place pieces of paper with numbers 1 through 10. Ask your student to reach into the first paper bag. The number he chooses dictates the page of your favorite sight-reading book. The 2nd paper bag number dictates which measure to start on and the 3rd paper bag dictates how many times they play from that measure to the end. You’d be surprised at how mixing things up like this makes it fun.
3. There’s an app for that!
Create a black and white cardboard frame that looks like an iPhone. For every lesson activity your student completes (book work, review, play from memory, sight-reading, ear training, theory game, etc.) they receive an “app icon”. You can get this free printable from us here.
4. Freaky Friday
Change places with your student on Friday and announce that everything is backwards. They become the teacher and you are the student. Have your student direct the lesson, teach you a new piece, give you feedback on their pieces that you play for them. So much learning happens when roles are reversed!
5. The answer is up in the air
Tape 3 balloons to your wall. Use a jiffy marker to write a title of a piece as well as one specific goal for each piece on each of the 3 balloons. As the lesson progresses, let your students pop the balloon once they have completed the task. If you’re an extra fun teacher you can sneak some small wrapped candies inside the balloon before you blow them up.
6. My Favorite Thing About Teaching You
Do something unexpected and send each of your students home with a handwritten card you have pre-prepared. Start the card with “My favorite thing about teaching you is…” Fill in the blank with something genuine and detailed. Thoughtful gestures like this mean more than you’ll know!
Are you feeling those Monday blues slipping away? Good!… because tomorrow is Tuesday and it’s time for some fun!