If there’s one thing I despise it’s feeling stressed out. I am someone who is very aware of the “life is short” philosophy and sweating the small stuff just doesn’t jive with me.
But in this profession there will always be the little niggly things. And these niggly things seem to like the warmer weather because they multiply like mosquitoes and buzz around my head at night every spring….“It’s almost recital time”…”Will Jeremy work on that piece enough?”… “My teens are all studying for exams, will they have time to practice?” … “What if Nicholas goes on holidays and misses 2 lessons? What if Amy gets that cough that’s going around and can’t come to class?”… “What piece should I give Jessica to perform?” And the warmer it gets, the closer recital season is and the more those niggly things pester me in my sleep.
Piano Teachers’ Spring Stress Solution
But then I got this message from Jeannie (a long-time reader of TeachPianoToday.com) yesterday and I just loved the way she single-handedly banished all stress from her spring term:
“This spring ALL of my 7 thru 11 year olds are doing The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratmaninoff. I’ve added some theory games, but with “end of the school year” activities, no homework except to perfect their composition has worked well for me this year. My parents love it and I love it. I do not have kids saying, “Oh, I don’t like this song”. They cannot complain because they are the one writing the song! My students love being creative. For the spring recital, each one of these students gets to pick the composition they like best. Saves a lot of headaches on my part! Parents love it because they are not having to “harp” on the kids to practice or to prepare for the recital.”
What a wonderful way to simply shrug off the stress that the spring season can bring! Practice problems? Nope. Recital preparation stress? Nope. Worrying about keeping kids interested during sport and sun season? Not at all.
Jeannie reminded me of why we created this composing book for kids; there is truly no better way to motivate your piano students than by having them create their own music. And motivation solves all piano student problems.
Take a page from Jeannie’s book and check out The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratmaninoff. It may just be the spring stress solution you’ve been searching for!