If you have young children who have just finished up their school year, there is probably a good chance that you have spent some time this past week emptying out their backpacks. And in amongst juice-stained homework planners, cookie crumbs, and fruit flies, you may have possibly stumbled across their writing journals.
I love reading Lexi’s journal. Not only is it a funny sneak peak into the mind of our goofy little girl, but it is also an excellent visual representation of her academic progress. By flipping through her journal pages you can actually see her progress in action.
Nothing is more rewarding to parents, and beneficial to teachers, than an effective representation of student progress… and, after reading today’s post, piano teachers will be able to tap into this same wealth of information…
Using Audio Recordings To Track Piano Student Progress
Journals are great for tracking progress in language arts because writing is visual. But piano progress is best represented by sound.
Sure, piano teachers can take copious notes for themselves about a student’s progress, but to adapt an old adage… “A sound is worth a thousand words.”
DropVox is an an audio recording app for your iPhone that automatically uploads recordings to your Dropbox account. If you are not using DropBox… you should… it’s free.
Instead of wasting valuable lesson time writing notes and reminders for yourself, click on the app, hit record, introduce the student’s name and the piece they are working on (along with anything else you wish to say) and then let your student play away.
And that’s it! Do this each and every lesson and you will literally be able to hear progress in action.
How to Use The Audio Recordings
The audio recordings you collect each lesson are incredibly valuable and are great for the following:
1. Monitoring weekly progress
At the beginning of a piano lesson, you and your student can listen to the previous week’s audio recording and discuss things that were great and things that needed work. You can then have your student play the piece to see what elements of the piece have improved and what still needs work. In addition, you will very likely find out how much practice happened in the previous week 😉
2. Planning for the future
With audio recordings, your lesson planning will be a snap. By taking a few minutes at the end of every teaching day to review your recordings, you can quickly identify the focus for the following week’s lesson. And by identifying overall focus for the lesson you can also select appropriate games, activities and repertoire to reinforce the focus.
3. Sharing Success With Students and Parents
Nothing is more motivating for piano students and their parents than progress. Audio recordings are the perfect tool to say, “Look how far you have come!” And when parents have an aural representation of progress they will be comfortable knowing that their investment of time (and money) was well worth it!
“Sound” Like A Plan?
So, if you can somehow pull yourself away from the beaches and barbecues this summer (if only for a few moments), experiment a little with DropVox and Dropbox so you are ready to hit record when a new year of teaching begins.
And, if you already use audio recordings in your studio to track piano student progress, please share in the comments below any programs or tools that you find particularly helpful and easy to use.