Unfortunately, there comes a time in every teacher-student relationship when we must say "goodbye." If you are saying goodbye to one or more of your students this summer, read on for tips on how to make your last lesson count!
I like to think of the last lesson as a celebration of all that each student has accomplished. Here are a few activities you might incorporate into this final lesson:
Create a repertoire list.
The last lesson is a great opportunity to review the pieces that students have most enjoyed over the past year of lessons. Devote some time to reviewing your student's favorite pieces and write them down. Students will appreciate having this list to play from for their own enjoyment, and it can also be helpful to have on hand in case they work with another teacher in the future.
Review music theory concepts.
Your students just might be surprised to realize all of the musical concepts they have learned: reading notes and rhythms, playing scales and chords, improvising, playing easy tunes by ear...the list goes on! Younger students might enjoy playing a few games involving naming notes or clapping rhythms, or sight-reading an easy duet. More advanced students might improvise on a familiar chord progression or sight-read from a lead sheet. Reviewing these concepts can help solidify what students have learned, as well as help them see all that they have accomplished over the course of their piano lessons.
Choose a few fun new pieces that can be learned independently.
I always like to send students off with a couple of "easy wins" that they can play for their own enjoyment. I blogged HERE about some of my favorite free sheet music resources for students. You can also check out the free sheet music available on my website HERE. Have a couple of pieces prepared that your students can take with them and enjoy at their leisure.
Guide students towards resources for continued learning.
Do you have a local (or online) music store that you recommend? Or maybe there is a great YouTube channel or Spotify playlist that you know your students would like? Try to give your students a few ideas of places they can look for resources related to music that they might want to check out in the future.
Leave the door open.
Sometimes students find that they really miss piano lessons and want to come back--even if just for a lesson or two. If you can, leave the door open, or give your students the name of another teacher they might contact in case they decide to take up lessons again. Just because a student says "goodbye" for now doesn't mean that their musical journey has to end!
What do you think? What special activities do you do in a last lesson? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!