5 Piano Teaching Mistakes to Avoid

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Don’t make these common mistakes in your Bay Area piano lessons

Even if you’re one of those people who is very well organized, it’s still possible to allow mistakes to creep into your Bay Area piano lessons presentations with students. As soon as you make the mistake, you’re aware of it and regret it, but once the cat is out of the bag, nothing can be done to put it back in. So that you don’t end up kicking yourself over falling prey to one or more of the most common piano-teaching mistakes, five of them are reviewed below to increase your awareness, and strengthen your resolve for avoiding them.

Overlooking positive reinforcement

Most piano teachers understand the importance of setting goals and objectives for young students, and of making them achievable so that the student doesn’t become overwhelmed and lose hope. But when any of these goals are actually achieved by the student, it’s also very important to recognize that achievement, and to offer positive reinforcement for the accomplishment. If you neglect this, it misses the chance to truly connect with a student, and it has the effect of lessening the value of the accomplishment.

Sympathizing after a hard lesson

All students go through rough periods or at least difficult individual lessons, characterized by frustration or something even worse. When you have days like this with a student, it can be very helpful to sympathize, and show that you care about what the student was going through, even if it was triggered by some other source. A kind note to mom and dad might also be appropriate.

Neglecting the Lesson One video

How many times have you been at a recital with one of your long-term students, at which he he/she really excelled, and it takes you back to the awkwardness of that very first lesson? Don’t forget to record that first session with your students, for this very purpose. Taking a look back can be very satisfying and entertaining for the student, mom and dad, and even yourself.

Forgetting to use hands-on materials

Especially when you’re introducing new concepts or techniques to your piano students, it can be extremely helpful to use hands-on materials, as opposed to a dry explanation. Students of all ages generally do much better with hands-on tactics than they do when you’re simply talking at them. The idea sinks in a lot better when they’re actually doing it, as opposed to you telling them how to do it.

Staying planted for a full 45 minutes

Most students don’t do well when required to sit for a full 45-minute lesson without moving off the piano bench. Whether it’s something to do with attention span, or with already sitting in school for several hours, it can be hard to be attentive and receptive sitting on the bench through an entire lesson. It’s a good idea to find ways to break up the lesson with some kind of activity such as a simple game, some time at the whiteboard, or anything else that gets them up off the bench. You’ll almost always find that they then become more attentive during the time they are sitting.

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