Piano teachers spend a lot of their day thinking in segments of time. 30 or 45 minutes is carefully broken down into parts – book work, theory, sight reading, music games, performance preparation.. they all have to fit somewhere! But we often forget about the first 5 minutes of the lesson. And these 5 minutes are the most important minutes of the entire piano lesson.
What Am I Missing?
Many of you probably naturally fill these first 5 minutes in exactly the way you should. But it’s still a great reminder to mentally set aside this time for what truly matters; relationship building.
These five minutes are when a connection happens. Use this time to chat about their life. And most importantly – remember their answers and then refer to them in future conversations. Ask specific questions, not just “How was school?” as most kids will give you the one word “Good.” To truly build a relationship you want details! It’s the fact that you then remember these details that shows your piano kids that you truly care about them; that they are more than just your 4:30 piano student. And while the details may seem trivial to you (Bubbles the class pet who got to come and stay at their house may seem small beans to you) to your kids… small life events can be epic. And if you remember to ask them about Bubbles the following week you’ve won them over.
Why Will This Make or Break a Piano Teacher?
You can be the most talented pianist, the most well-respected piano pedagogue, the most awarded performer and the most knowledgeable teacher around, but if you don’t connect with your students they won’t reach their full potential. Children learn best in an environment where they feel supported. You can also have the most marketing dollars, the flashiest ads and the most expensive grand piano, but unless you can truly connect with your students your word-of-mouth will suffer.
Building a relationship with your students comes from a a combination of conscious effort and effortless ease, but all it takes is 5 minutes. Do you schedule this into your lessons?
Now that the first five minutes of a piano lesson are settled, spend the next 5 minutes warming up in the most unique and innovative way! Using TEDDtales, the positive personal connection you’ve just made with your students will naturally carry over into these enjoyable stories that surround pedagogically-sound technical exercises. It’s a fun way to sharpen your students’ focus at the start of a lesson PLUS get going on some serious finger flexibility, note reading, muscle coordination and more!