Ready, Steady, Go...!

The new teaching term starts in just over a week. I have a big pile of shiny new books for most of my students. There is an air of expectation and, dare I say, excitement as we approach the new term.

My head is buzzing with ideas - too many of them! This morning I read about a teacher who offers termly workshops for the parents of children who have piano lessons. That's a marvellous idea! I think we'll start with Rhythm Cups and Wine and see where we go from there!

I have four young beginners starting next week. How I love that first lesson (more on that in my next blog post)!

I'm going to be asking each pupil to set goals and targets for the new term. We'll discuss how to go about achieving those goals. This might include specific practice strategies, listening to music, singing, clapping, dancing or learning new skills. The Music Lessons with Mary notebook includes spaces to record these goals and targets.

If you're a parent or carer of a child having lessons, what are your goals as you support your child in the investment you are making?

Could you commit to any or some of the following?

☺☺ Discuss the content of your child's piano notebook with them after each lesson

☺☺ Agree a time to listen to your child play some pieces

☺☺ Play a duet with your child

☺☺ Enjoy a musical activity (such as Rhythm Cups) with your child

☺☺ Sit with your child whist he or she plays the piano

☺☺ Celebrate progress towards goals

☺☺ Go to concerts to hear professional pianists and other musicians playing music you and your child will love and find inspiring

☺☺ Send videos of your child playing to me, or other interested people, for positive feedback

☺☺ Share ideas, difficulties, successes, videos, photos with other families having music lessons

☺☺ Encourage your child to play piano with a friend who learns - it's great fun!

☺☺ Sing with your child - in the car, the bath, the kitchen - anywhere!

What not to do:

- Reward / celebrate purely on the basis of time spent playing the piano. Focus on those goals and be constructive

- Put note name stickers on the piano keys!! This makes it difficult for your child to remember the names of the notes.

Please tell me about your ideas and what works for you and your family.

Here's to a wonderful, exciting, purposeful, musical start to a new Music Lessons with Mary year!