If you head into any sheet music department, the majority of shelf space is taken up by the “giants” in the method book world. It’s not hard to quickly discover who the big guys are.
But before you shrug and grab the book with the shiniest cover on the biggest display, remember just how important your method book selection can be. A good method book partner is an absolute must! So, join us in considering some of the most popular speed-dating questions to discover what factors you should be considering when selecting a method book for your studio.
Put Your Method Book on the Spot With These Questions
1. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”
Choosing a method book series that will grow with your students is always a good idea as your students will become accustomed to the way the book “works” (as will you!). Avoid method books that have only 3 levels, and search out ones that have the potential for longevity in your studio as your students progress.
Begin with the end in mind; you want a method book series that will help you take your piano kids where you want them to go… and so act as though every one of your students will remain in lessons for 10+ years.
2. “If you won the lottery, how would you spend your millions?”
An important consideration for some is also price-point. Most teachers like their students to have materials to accompany the method book… and you don’t want the cost of books to be prohibitive to the yummy supplementary material your kids will go gaga for.
Decide if you really will use the accompanying CDs enough to justify the price difference or if you can accomplish the same result by being a bench buddy and doing duets. Also decide if the method book itself has the ability to stand-alone and be awesome, or does it depend on its accompanying side-kicks make it look good? It can be confusing and time-consuming to have armfuls of books to get through each lesson to accomplish what one really good method book can do on its own.
3. “What adjective would a close friend use to describe you?”
Your method book holds a lot of weight when it comes to your piano lessons. Choose the wrong one and your kids get bogged down and struggle; choose a winner and your kiddos (and your business) thrive!
Spend some time having a heart-to-heart with each of the books. Which one jives with how you like to teach? Have a clear idea of your approach and teaching philosophy and then search out a method book that has the same qualities, emphasis and priorities. Struggling to make a square-peg method book fit into your round-hole lessons just results in bent pages frustration.
4. “Do you believe in love at first sight?”
Generally kids are visually motivated, meaning a method book that is instantly appealing will certainly have a leg up. And while they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, sometimes the cover can say a lot about what’s to come inside.
Remember, even if you find the interior of that book with the paper bagish cover super inspiring, you’re going to get some less than enthusiastic reactions from your pint-sized piano kiddos… and it could find a sad home in the bottom of an unopened music bag.
You’re the One!
Once you’ve found your method-book soul mate you can rejoice in finding a partner who will support your teaching style, provide enjoyment and fun and lesson your work-load. Then, it’s time to dive into finding amazingly motivating supplementary material to keep things spicy! PianoBookClub.com is your one-stop place for fresh, innovative and motivating supplementary repertoire. Check it out here and be sure to have some fun and vote for the books you want us to create in The Music Lab!
note: The winner, chosen at random, of Pssst… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Theory from yesterday’s giveaway is Anna (who’s comment begins with “Soooo… whuddya do in school today”).