“The new year means nothing if you’re still in love with your comfort zone”. I came across this quote the other day on Instagram and I LOVED it. It’s so true. Making resolutions and setting goals are pointless activities if you don’t truly believe that you have things to change.
But, it’s a difficult task for adults to dig deep and truly identify the changes that need to be made… so how can we expect children to do the same?
New Years Resolutions… Piano Kid Style
Because squeezing resolutions out of kids can be a task… it’s nice to balance goal setting with some warm fuzzy reflection on what is already going well. And, because kids also need a tangible and easy way of both reflecting on past accomplishments and setting future goals… you’re going to need our Goal Setting Game!
Step 1: Game Play
- Print and cut out the Goal Setting Game Card Set (we’ve included a blank set if you’d prefer to make your own)
- Place the cards face down on a flat surface in front of your piano student.
- Play a game of “memory” (turn two cards over at once until a match is found)
- Your student will be making two piles of matched cards; one for “I do this well already.” and one for “I want to work on this.”
- Once a match is found, ask your piano student to evaluate what’s on the card. Is this something he already does well, or is this something he acknowledges that he needs to work on? He places the matched cards in the appropriate pile.
- Have your student continue until all matches have been found and placed in either of the two piles.
Step 2: Self-Reflection and Goal Setting
Turn your attention to the “I do this well already” pile first. Discuss each card and acknowledge the strengths your piano student has chosen for himself, drawing on real examples to illustrate each one. For example “I always enjoy hearing the attention to you pay to your dynamics. What piece do you remember as being one where you really paid close attention to this?”
Once you’ve completed the positive self-reflection part of this activity, it’s time to turn your attention to goal setting. Sort through the “I’d like to work on this” pile. Together, choose three of the cards that you think would be most beneficial. Discuss how the two of you will focus on these in the coming months.
Step 3: Now… Document It!
Goal setting is one thing, but holding yourself accountable for the goals you have made is even more powerful.
Have your piano student hold the three goal cards that you’ve chosen together and snap a quick photo. You can then print out the photos and display them in your studio or simply slip them into your student’s piano binder as a continued reminder of this coming term’s goals. It holds the both of you accountable for the goals you’ve chosen.
And Now… You?
Want to know my own New Year’s Piano Teaching Resolution? I’d like to incorporate more music history into my teaching. That’s my goal… what’s yours? We’d love to hear your Piano Teaching Resolutions in the comments below before January 2nd, 2016 at midnight PST. We’ll be choosing two lucky commenters to receive a set of 3 amazing PianoGameClub.com games (just in case making music theory relevant, memorable and amazingly fun is one of your resolutions!)