We’re back today with a quick Tuesday Teaching Tactic for our 24th Tuesday! Today we just want to remind you to use humor in your teaching.

Sometimes, the best way to deal with something is to just laugh about it. When our students need cheering up, we all love to joke or dance or play a cheesey game to get a few smiles out of them right? Don’t forget the power of humor!

Research shows that humor which complements the material being taught, can reduce anxiety in students and boost their anxiety. Check out this article, if you want to read more about this.  An added bonus is that students like the humorous teachers better 😉

Mary Kay Morrison, the author of using Humor to Maximize Learning, is an educator-researcher who studies the effects of humor on the brain. She wrote:

“We’re finding humor actually lights up more of the brain than many other functions in a classroom,” says Morrison. “In other words, if you’re listening just auditorily in a classroom, one small part of the brain lights up, but humor maximizes learning and strengthens memories.”

I love this – who doesn’t want to maximize the learning and memory abilities of students during piano lessons?! For myself, I know humor keeps me more focused and motivated when I’m learning or working on something difficult. It makes me more positive in all aspects of life when I laugh!

So today let’s all try to remember to use humor in our piano lessons. Share a funny pun you heard or make up silly lyrics to help with that tricky rhythm. Try singing along in a silly voice or accent and dance that waltz to feel the movement better even if you look goofy! Remember to bring that music to life for you and the students!

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com