Another Tuesday already so we’re back with a quick Tuesday Teaching Tactic. We aim to have these be quick ideas and tips to help you teach better right away. So let’s get to it – today’s tip is “Take a Break (When Needed)”.

What we mean is, it’s alright to take a break when a child needs it. Sometimes, they’ve had enough time on the piano and we need to take a break. Try something new – on the piano or off the bench!  And not to say we give up on piano lessons or stop lessons by any means. But when a child is really struggling with a concept, take a break from moving forward and spend time slowly digesting that concept. We don’t always have to get to the next piece in the method book. Find something to supplement with till they are ready to move forward.

Or if there is a certain repertoire piece with a really difficult section that your student cannot conquer and they are becoming depressed about, by all means set it aside and take a break. Move onto a different piece and add technique exercises on the side to improve the skills needed for that particular spot. Come back in a few weeks or months, when the student is ready.

Piano lessons aren’t about competition and we have the “luxury” or ability to do what we believe is best for the child. We all know that every child is unique and needs to be taught differently. We can move forward in other ways and keep developing those areas till they are ready.  So don’t be afraid to take a break when it’s needed!

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

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