If you have a piano studio full of teenagers I would bet dollars to dimes that you are one heck of a teacher! Young piano students can be difficult to manage but easy to please. On the flip side, teenage piano students are easy to manage (they’re not generally bounding around your studio) but can be difficult to please.
If you find yourself struggling to connect with your teenage piano students I have a few rectangles that might offer some help.
Rectangle Number 1 – Young Piano Students
The rectangle above represents a typical piano lesson with young piano students. A big chunk of the lesson is devoted to learning repertoire (and everything that goes along with that… technique, theory…) while smaller chunks are devoted to things like composing, sight reading, and learning to chord and improvise.
There’s nothing wrong with this rectangle… it works perfectly well for young piano students.
Rectangle Number 2 – Teenage Piano Students
The rectangle above represents a typical piano lesson with teenage piano students. But wait! Isn’t Rectangle Number 1 the same as Rectangle Number 2?! Well, yes. And therein lies the problem.
As our young piano students mature, their lesson structure needs to grow with them. A lesson structure heavily weighted towards the mastery of new repertoire leaves no room for personal expression. And when teenagers have no room for personal expression they’ll have no room for your piano studio. Which is why we need to look at Rectangle number 3.
Rectangle Number 3 – A Teenager’s Perfect Piano World
The rectangle above is a teenage piano lesson utopia. Learning new repertoire has not been abandoned, it has simply made room for a previously-smaller chunk to gain more prominence depending on what interests each individual teen student.
As young piano students grow up, their rectangles need to change to reflect their personality, passion, and interests. If you can find that balance, a studio bursting at the seams with teenagers is not too far-fetched!