Whether you are making adjustments to your current piano lessons or starting your business from scratch, there are always new ways to elevate! As teachers, we know that reflecting on our lessons and teaching style is one of the best ways to grow and become better for our students.
Sure, you can stick to teaching traditional sheet music without ever switching it up (and trust me, I definitely use my fair share of sheet music!! ) but never adjusting your lessons can lead to burn out and can even rob you of the excitement of teaching piano.
Teachers, if you aren’t looking forward to teaching piano lessons, your students are most likely not looking forward to going to their lessons either.
“But Tara, I do not have the mental capacity to spend time planning all new things!”
Good news, you don’t have to!!! I’ve done all the work for you! You just have to decide where you want to include it in your lessons.
This year, let’s elevate our piano lessons by teaching outside of the box, adding in more FUN, using non-traditional method books…OH, and even teaching online
Table of Contents
Start Teaching Outside the Box
A lot of times, students want to quit playing piano because it just isn’t fun for them. It really is about how you teach it!! Personally, I fell in love with the classics from a very early age, but I know that isn’t always the case for other kids.
This gives your students a break from traditional sheet music and allows them to play the songs they WANT to play. Plus, students actually enjoy practicing with this method!! The Pop Song Method is a way to help students feel seen, get more involved, and be more willing to learn.
My favorite way to implement the Pop Song Method:
I use my Pop Song Method to teach students how to play their favorite songs by using letters. This takes away the frustration when it comes to reading music notes and rhythm.
I incorporate BOTH traditional sheet music and the Pop Song Method. My students learn the core fundamentals and how to play by ear! Oftentimes, learning by ear gives them the confidence to read sheet music.
When students learn to play the songs they enjoy, they actually want to practice at home and I see more engagement during lessons!!
Incorporate Boom Cards
If you are looking for a way to reinforce a specific concept in a FUN way, then let me tell you about Boom Cards!! You already know I am ALL about making piano fun, and Boom Cards have become one of my absolute favorite tools for doing so!!
Boom Cards are used through an app called Boom Learning and can be used with any device! They help students focus on different theory concepts including intervals, scales, piano keys, note reading, rhythm, and so forth. Basically, they combine the excitement of playing an online game with teaching the fundamentals of piano theory – talk about a win-win!
My favorite way to implement the Boom Cards:
Boom Cards can be assigned to students during a lesson to create interaction or as practice assignments at home to reinforce different concepts.
Boom Cards can be used in virtual lessons to create more engagement and make online just as entertaining as in-person!
If I notice a student isn’t as engaged during a lesson, sometimes I break out the Boom Cards to add some extra FUN!
Add in Games
Learning the fundamentals of piano isn’t always fun – that’s just the truth!
Incorporating games will add in the missing fun while getting your students more engaged and delivering concepts to them in a way that they will remember and enjoy.
Simply put, games are an easy yet effective way to motivate kids (of ALL ages) and help them to remember specific concepts!
My favorite way to implement games:
Just like Boom Cards, I sprinkle games throughout lessons to create more engagement and reinforce different concepts.
Use games that specifically help to teach music theory in a hands-on way!
I also love to use games as a quick review of a concept before or at the end of a lesson.
Use Non-Traditional Method Books
Each book in the Cascade Method Book Collection was designed to teach piano to kids in a fun and creative way! They feature easy-to-read layouts, colorful imagery, and challenging games.
Fun fact: Piano Theory was the first book I created (originally in 2010 but it hit Amazon) in 2016 and it actually led to the rest of the collection in 2020! When I was pregnant, I was popping out 1 to 2 books PER MONTH My books are available in physical or PDF copies!
My favorite way to implement non-traditional books:
Practice, practice, practice!!! In fact, I have THREE practice books!
Holidays (I have Christmas books and a spooky fun Halloween book!)
I even have SEVEN books that align with my Pop Song Method!
Expand your Business Online
Last but not least, consider taking some (or all!) of your lessons online. You’ll be able to teach more AND it allows for more flexibility in your schedule. Not to mention, it’s an opportunity to scale your business from the comfort of your own home.
Expanding online has been a unique chance for me to grow my business, teach and connect with students from allllll over the world, and spend more quality time with my family