I’m trying something new with most of my students this summer – ditching the lesson book! We will return to lesson books in the fall, but I decided a lot of my students could benefit from a break. I think method books are great for elementary students, they make sure we cover concepts in a logical sequential manner. And they especially help a student to develop good reading skills as I like to move through the pieces pretty quickly. Lesson books also give a student a sense of accomplishment. It’s nice to feel like you are moving forward and progressing. But, sometimes a change is nice too. At the end of the spring semester I helped my students pick out a supplemental book for the summer. These included:
- Famous and Fun books by Carol Matz
- Faber PreTime to BigTime series
- Tom Gerou’s Movie Heroes for Students
And a variety of other books. Students love playing pieces they’ve chosen. Most of my students were really happy to take a break from the lesson book. But some who are really focused on finishing those books weren’t so sure. I think it’s good for them to take a pause and enjoy some different pieces instead of always pushing to finish the next book. I also plan to mix things up even more with some fun games using summer items (look for a post coming soon from us about this). Summer is a good time for a change of pace since students’ schedules are so different. Consider mixing things up with your students and see what happens!
Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.