Planning for a year’s worth of piano lessons can be a daunting task, so its no wonder that this is one of our most commonly asked questions. There is no “standard curriculum” for piano teachers to follow… and I would argue that this is a good thing because there is no “standard student” for teachers to teach.
A yearly curriculum must be fluid and adaptable. But for a curriculum to be fluid and adaptable it must first be… a curriculum. And that requires having some sort of yearly scope and sequence mapped out.
The Building Blocks of a Yearly Plan
Don’t reinvent the wheel when developing your yearly plan. A lot of smart people have spent a lot of long hours developing yearly plans for piano method books. You can find these yearly plans on any music store shelf.
So with this in mind, there are two ways to develop a yearly plan:
Option One: This method is dead simple. Choose one method book series. Buy a levelled book with a student in mind. Open that book to the table of contents. Type out the skills covered in the order that they appear. BAM! Yearly lesson planning done!
Well… not really. But this WILL provide a piano teaching framework… a road map for your piano students’ progress. Everything you do in your yearly planning from here on out (like selecting supplementary repertoire or piano theory games etc.) will be tied to this framework.
Option Two: Just as two heads are better than one; two method books (or three or four) are better than one. As I became a more experienced piano teacher, option two became my framework builder of choice.
Grab a whole whack of method books from the music store. From the table of contents, write down the skills covered in each book and the order in which they appear. Then, using your knowledge and experience as a piano teacher, build your own framework by combining bits and pieces of each of the frameworks in each method book into an order that works for you and your teaching preferences.
Remember… A Framework Does Not Tie You To A Method Book
The purpose of today’s activity is to simply help you build a curriculum to follow. Just because you use a particular method book to build your curriculum does not mean you are committed to using only the repertoire in that book to meet the needs of your curriculum.
As mentioned earlier, all you want from today’s blog post is a framework; a list of skills and an order in which to present these skills. Future posts in our Yearly Planning Series will show you how to bring this piano teaching framework to life with repertoire selection, supplementary repertoire selection, piano teaching games, composing and more so stay tuned!