I’m about to clear out my sticker drawer in my piano studio. For good. And I’m betting my students are not going to miss them one bit!
Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Piano Lesson Stickers
Stickers have been a part of my piano lessons since I was 4 years old. When I started teaching, one of the very first things I did was run out and find music-themed stickers. Stickers were to piano lessons as lemonade is to a picnic. You just gotta have some!
But I recently ran across this video below and little lightbulbs went off in my brain. Stickers are so one-dimensional. And now-a-days kids have hundreds at home anyway; they’ve lost their “specialness”. But… wouldn’t it be cool if the little graphics of encouragement I chose to place in their piano binders were personalized? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful to my students if the notes I made in their binders were unique and even witty? Wouldn’t it be a reason for my students to actually read what I wrote if they knew that tiny surprises were hidden in the margins of their assignment book?
Check out this video where acclaimed American classical pianist, Jeremy Denk, gives us a glimpse into his own piano lesson notebook.
Turn Gold Stars Into Good Habits
While his teacher certainly had a sarcastic approach (which, with my tendency towards positive piano teaching, I would never do) the idea of the “gold stars” taking on a personality and making commentary on the lessons really appealed to me.
I’m going to give it a try; I’m betting that my students will be flipping through their book as soon as they get home, eager to check out what my mini cartoons had to say about their most recent piano lesson. And, if they’re flipping through that book, they’re more likely to remember what it was I was wanting them to practice; and that’s already more than a sticker has done for me lately! Are you with me?! Just think of all of the sticker money you will save…