We all have things that drive us crazy. We all have things that make us cringe.
But how often do we actually sit down and proactively find a solution to make those pet peeves disappear?
Today’s post is all about eliminating those pet peeves. Because every problem has a solution… except for the hot dog and bun problem: 10 hot dogs… 12 buns. There’s just no solution for that 😉
Those of you who read our blog regularly and check out our Facebook page know that we like to focus on the positive side of piano teaching. And even though this post is about pet peeves… I’m determined to keep it positive. In fact, I’m not even going to list examples of piano teacher headaches. We all know what they are… and if you don’t – well then you’re pretty happy already!
But what I am going to do is offer some guidance and a 7 Day Pet Peeve Plan to help you rid your teaching life of the things that weigh you down.
The Piano Teacher’s 7 Day Pet Peeve Buster
The very first thing you need to do is to believe that change can happen. Once you’ve convinced yourself… read on!
On Day 1… Let it All Out
First, identify everything that is causing you grief. To do so…
- Brainstorm a list of pet peeves (without a filter). Write ’em all down… there are no wrong answers to this question.
- Take the day to think about your brainstorm and add to your list as the day progresses. No problem is too small to include.
On Day 2… Revisit and Revamp
Return to your brainstorm. Have you forgotten anything? Were you overzealous with your pet peeves? Is there anything on your list that you don’t actually need to fix. Cross things off, and add things accordingly.
On Day 3… Take Stock and Prioritize.
Now that you’ve got a pretty good list of piano teaching pet peeves, it’s time to arrange it into something manageable. Ready?
- Look at your list and group your pet peeves into common themes. Circle similar “troubles” with the same color pen. For example, because “collecting overdue payments” and “NSF cheques” could be placed in a “lesson payments” category, circle them both in blue.
- Next, determine if there is one category that stands out? Is there a common color that keeps on occurring?
- Think about each category and each “stand alone pet peeve” by asking yourself these questions:
- What would be different in my life if this was fixed?
- What impact would it have on my business if this was fixed?
- What would others notice about me if this was fixed?
- Rate your categories (or stand alone pet peeves) based on your answers to the questions above.
- Choose your single, biggest pet peeve and proceed to Day 4!
On Day 4… A Little Bit of Work… A Big Payoff
So, you’ve discovered your biggest piano teaching pet peeve… now it’s time to kick it to the curb!
- Whittle down your selected problem so it can be described in just one word. Yes… just one. It may be something like “behaviour” or “policies” or “communication” or “advertising”.
- Take 5 minutes to brainstorm absolutely everything you could do to improve upon this problem.
- Take another 5 minutes to highlight the three things you will do first to eliminate this problem.
- Schedule time in each of the next three days to complete the three things identified in Step 3.
On Day 5, 6, and 7… Work the Problem Out
On days 5, 6, and 7 stick to your schedule created on Day 4 and spend 30 minutes each day completing each of the three tasks designed to eliminate your pet peeve (see Day 4). By the end of 7 days you should have made some huge steps towards eliminating your piano teaching pet peeve.
Still more on that list that drives you crazy? Then repeat Days 2 – 7 as many times as necessary.
Apply These Solutions To Your Pet Peeve Action Plan
Trevor and I have written over 850 posts on the Teach Piano Today blog. If you having trouble solving a particular pet peeve on your action plan, then chances are we’ve blogged about a solution. Check out some of our favorite “Pet Peeve Busters” below:
Communcation with Parents
Getting Students To Practice
Staying Motivated as a Piano Teacher