If only we could somehow find a way to perch a miniature version of ourselves on our piano kids’ shoulders during their home practice time? We could offer the same encouragement, reminders, tips, tricks and “don’t forgets” that we do during their piano lesson time. This “Piano Teacher On Your Shoulder” would ensure that the progress made during home practice time was ten times more productive – piano students would always remember all of the wisdom we share each week.
Speech Bubble Piano Practice
While being there in person would be the ultimate – this idea is a great second. Your piano teaching genius can be easily transported home with your piano students and they’ll remember each and every thing you said to them during their lesson time.
The Next Best Thing To Piano Teacher Teleportation
This fun activity and free printable solves the “how to be in two places at one time” dilemma. Check it out!
1. Download and print this sheet – one per student. Cut out each of the speech bubbles and get a roll of double-sided tape.
2. During the piano lesson, each time you make a suggestion, give your piano kids a reminder, encounter an area of difficulty, or show them a tip or trick, come up with a short and humorous way to condense it into a speech bubble.
For example, a forgotten F# could be “Ouch! That’s sharp!”, a rhythm that needed correcting could be “It is I, COUNT Dracula”, a change in fingering could be “3-1 Lots of Fun!” etc. etc.
3. Write your reminder in the speech bubble and stick it to your piano kids’ sheet music directly above the measure it involves as though the measure is the one talking. You can use as many or as few speech bubbles as you like per piece, and (with double-sided tape) the speech bubbles can be moved, re-arranged or taken away as needed as your student perfects the piece.
Notes in piano binders are one thing, but having clever reminders directly on your piano students’ page that don’t get lost among the music and other markings are almost as good as taking a piano teacher home with you!
And if you really want to ramp up the “remembrance factor” have your piano student come up with their own reminders that are relevant and meaningful to them. My piano student last week needed to remember to banish a “thumpy thumb” in a particular section. He chose to write “Don’t squish the Dino eggs” (he’s a big Dinosaur fan). Probably not what I would have ever written to remind him… but I never heard the thud of a thumb again!
By adding some humor and imagination to your piano kids’ practice you’re not only making their sheet music more engaging and visually appealing, but you’ve also found a way to really make the important things “stick”.
If you love this idea you’ll love where it came from! This exercise is taken from one of the 88 activities you can find in “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This is Practice”. We’ve taken piano practice and crossed it with imagination and fun! With that combo piano teachers around the world are seeing results!