Meet the student where they are

Meet the student where they are, not where you are, and not where you want them to be, but where they really are Frances Clark Meeting the student ‘where they are’ is perhaps likely to be easier in a one-to-one music lesson. We get to know our students on an individual basis and can tailor…

The importance of scales

By knowing your scales “you have learned 95% of 90% of the entire flute repertoire!” Trevor Wye, Practice Book for the Flute Volume 5: Breathing and Scales; Novello Sometimes scales become, for our students, something that they have to do in order to pass an exam. But actually they underpin all our repertoire, whatever instrument…

Routine and learning music

What are your thoughts on routine in the music practice room or the actual lesson? In the music lesson I have found some students seem to really love routine and are actually thrown when things are done in a different order. Whereas others respond much better to a more spontaneous approach (or at least something…

Love of learning

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning Brad Henry There are many things I wish for my students but a love of learning their instrument is definitely high up on the list – if not at the top! What would be on your wish list?

Every picture (or music piece) tells a story

Every picture tells a story Do you use storytelling in your music studio? I have just had a great lesson with a young piano student. They were playing the notes really well but needed some expression. Rather than talking about this section needing to be soft or that bit loud, we came up with a…

Motivating tired students

In an ideal world every student that walks through the music room door would be enthusiastic to learn, ready to fully listen, and engage 100% with the lesson. Sometimes though they arrive after a full day of school or work and might be tired out or have had a bad day. Even though you try…

Have you got ‘backing track’ syndrome?

When I first started learning the flute it was in the days where you had to buy separate books for each exam piece and there was no such thing as a CD or downloadable backing track (showing my age now!). Instead we lived next door to a lovely lady who played the piano and mum…

Do your students suffer from ‘jump straight in’ syndrome?

I teach a lot of young students and we often use music games to reinforce what they are learning (as you may have gathered from my website!). I’ve noticed recently that you can actually tell a lot about a student’s learning style just by playing a game. Recently, for example, I was helping someone with time…

Don’t catch the penguins!

Music teachers can set the questions any way they wish in this theory game! If you’re like me and have students of all different levels, sometimes you might need a game with a bit of flexibility – where you can set things up to suit the individual student. Don’t Catch The Penguins lets you (or…

Who Stole My Doughnut?!

If you asked the question, “who stole my doughnut?” in my house the answer would definitely be my dog! He is a bit sneaky and likes to do what we call ‘counter surfing’ which really is sniffing out any food that might have been left unattended in the kitchen. He is the inspiration though for…

Music theory games for Halloween

If you are looking for some fun and spooky music theory games to play with your students this Halloween I have made several – and some are completely free! The pictured game is called ‘Pumpkin Mash’ and students have to name the notes in 40 seconds or the witch turns the poor pumpkins into mash!…