In today's post, I share a lesson plan for returning students, with links to a few of my favorite resources to start your year off on the right foot!
Keep reading for some first-lesson-back inspiration!
Although my lesson plan varies a bit depending on the student, in general I have these four goals in mind for my first lesson of the year:
1. Review favorite summer repertoire and discuss goals for the new school year.
I always find a good ice-breaker activity is to have students play a favorite piece that they learned (or reviewed for fun) over the summer. This is a good way to see exactly how rusty students might be, especially if they spent a lot of time away from the piano over the summer.
This leads quite naturally into a discussion of what goals a student might have for the upcoming year. Is there a particular piece they are itching to learn? A style they would be really interested in exploring? Maybe they want to finish a current repertoire book or participate in a competition this year?
I like to give each student this handy "Repertoire/Wish List," to keep in their assignment binders.
We start filling out this list in our first lesson and add to it as the semester progresses. Get your free PDF HERE!
I like to have a few fun activities planned to review note names, theory, and technique at this first lesson! Here are a few resources that can help:
- Check out my post HERE on 10 activities you can do using puzzle erasers to review all of the concepts mentioned above!
- If you have a computer, tablet, or iPad available in your lesson, the free exercises found HERE on Music Theory.net are great for reviewing note names, key signatures, intervals, and more!
- Want to do a little sight-reading? Check out the free sheet music at G Major Music Theory or on my Free Stuff page.
- Finally, here are a few of my favorite (and fun) worksheets that come in handy for reviewing concepts. Click on the pictures below to download your free PDF:
I love helping students choose a new piece at this first lesson that will really spark their motivation for the year ahead! Here are a few repertoire ideas from my own catalog:
- Check out a few of my favorite Halloween arrangements in this blog post.
- Do you have video game fans in your studio? I have lots of new arrangements available over at Musicnotes, with single pieces starting at just $3.99! You can browse them all and filter by level HERE.
- Boost your students' confidence with some exciting pattern-based music! I love teaching patterned pieces because students can learn them quickly, but they often sound more difficult than they are to play. My "Perfect Patterns" series has 4 volumes of engaging, pattern-based music for students from the elementary to intermediate level.
4. End the lesson with a fun, creative activity.
Here are a few of my favorites that work with students of multiple levels. Click on the pictures below to download your free PDF: