At some point in our careers we’ve all worked through the summer. And, while we love teaching piano, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that most of us (if given the choice) wouldn’t pass up on some fun in the sun!
But sometimes the choice isn’t ours. Sometimes piano teachers have to work through the summer.
If you happen to find yourself in this boat, then today’s post was written for the sole purpose of making your life easier. Today we are sharing 7 strategies, activities and tools that will reduce your lesson planning and increase your lesson excitement… and you just might find some time to work on a tan, lay on a beach, or fire up the barbecue.
Not teaching this summer? Check out the ideas below anyway… the summer-themed activities work well whenever the weather is warm!
7 Posts To Take The Pain Out Of Summer Lesson Planning
This summer, don’t spend hours in your studio… spend hours on the beach! With the ideas and printables in the 7 posts showcased below, you’ll be able to keep your summer piano students motivated without eating up your own summer enjoyment.
1. Crank Up The Fun With 65 Crowd-Sourced, Off-Bench Activities
Off-bench activities take time to brainstorm and even more time to create. Fortunately, the Teach Piano Today community shared over 65 ideas for summer lesson fun in this post. From “outdoor music twister” to “musical hot potato” to “musical terms basketball”… these ideas will delight your kiddos and breathe some life into your summer lessons.
2. Add Summer Improv To Every Lesson
Adding improvisation into your piano lessons gives your students a chance to explore the feeling of finding freedom on the keys. It also helps them to develop listening skills, rhythmic accuracy and more! If you’ve never taught improv before, don’t fret; with our “Surfs Up Improv”, “Summertime Blues Improv” and “Rock Your Way To School Improv” (perfect as the summer comes to an end) you’ll have step-by-step tools that will make improv teaching a cinch.
3. Encourage Creativity With Summer Composing
If your students aren’t already composing on a regular basis, summer is a great time to get into the routine. If you’re a bit unsure as to how your students can easily and quickly create their very own masterpieces, this printable is your solution. With fun images and a cool surfing theme, your students will have a blast making their very own music.
4. Buzz Around The Studio With This Bee-Themed Rhythm Game
We first shared this game in 2012 and we *still* hear about how much fun it brings to studios and students! The set-up is simple, and it’s easy to take outside on a warm, sunny day. Simply hide the (provided) rhythm cards around your garden and watch your little music bees buzz with excitement. Find the instructions and printables here.
5. Capture Imagination AND Increase Summer Practice Hours
Keep your young piano students practicing between lessons with this fun, printable practice incentive. It’s like “Elf On The Shelf” with an ocean theme! It’s fun, it’s simple AND it encourages parental participation. Find “Practice For Penny” here.
6. Challenge Your Students With This Summer Piano Project
Don’t you just love projects that take less than 5 minutes to plan? If so, then this “Summer Piano Challenge” is right up your ally! Print it off and send it home with your piano students. Encourage them to complete all 16 challenges (at home) before a pre-determined end date.
7. Go “Camping” With These Critter-Themed Note Reading Games
Even if you’re not a fan of camping (hand raised!) you can still bring the wilderness into your piano studio with our critter-themed note reading games! Reinforce note-reading in C position with a squirrel and Treble C position with a skunk.
Keep Teens’ Interest In Summer Lessons High With This Music
The activities above will keep your littlest piano student inspired this summer… but what about your teenagers? Well, they’re a different kettle of fish 😉 If you want to motivate your teen piano students over the summer months it’s a great idea to break from your regular repertoire and inspire them with The Amadeus Anthems and The Beethoven Sessions from Teach Piano Today.