Today we’re sharing another Tuesday Teaching Tactic and it’s something we really believe in. The best way to introduce the tactic is with this quote from Robert Duke:
“Every human being should experience something beautiful every day.”
So think for just a moment, what beauty did you experience today? This season is full of beauty outside as flowers are beginning to bud, new leaves are growing, and my kids are obsessed with being outside. Now in the lessons you taught today or yesterday, what moment of beauty did you leave with your students? Did you play something cool on the piano for them or share an amazing YouTube performance to inspire them during the week? Did you help them improvise something that sounded amazing and allowed them to express themselves?
Sometimes piano lessons end with more frustration than joy. So my tactic for you this week is to make a point in every lesson to help a student experience something beautiful. Use one of the above mentioned ideas or come up with a new one. One more idea I love is sight reading duets – have them read their part through once, then add the duet and enjoy creating something beautiful together.
Piano lessons and performing tend to involve a lot of critique. But isn’t music meant to convey joy both to ourselves and to others? So let’s make sure we’re reminding our students of this each week. Sometimes lessons get filled with business and pieces to perfect for the next festival or recital. So don’t forget to use the joy of making beautiful music. When they come from practicing that difficult piece at home, let’s send them back out refreshed with new ideas and a smile on their face from the experience they had with something beautiful in the lesson.
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