It’s Tuesday again, boy do these weeks fly by! Our Teaching Tactic for today is to have your student play a measure, phrase, or any small section of the piece correctly 3 times in a row. As piano teachers, we know that correct repetitions are crucial to reliable performances. But teaching our students the value of repetition can be a challenge. I like to set it up like a game.
Get 3 items, anything will work – quarters, puzzle erasers, game pieces, whatever you have lying around. Put all 3 on one side of the piano. If the student plays the section with no mistakes, move one to the other side of the piano. If they make a mistake, they all go back. Do this until they successfully move all 3 pieces across. Try 5 items for a bigger challenge. This is a great tactic for working on particularly tricky passages that always seem to trip up a student. I even use this myself when I need to solidify a passage in practice. It reminds me of the quote
“Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
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.