A New School Year to Try out New Ideas in the Music Studio

Summer flew by far more quickly than anticipated. All of my plans to learn new repertoire, reorganize my home and just relax were replaced with...busy-ness. Now, we're in the beginnings of another year of music teaching. Last week was intense as I was burning the midnight oil to make all sorts of cool handouts for my music students.

After having my students take the VARK Learning Preferences questionnaire last year, I discovered that my students fall under three general categories:

  1. Visual (mostly in combination, Visual-Aural or Visual-Kinesthetic)
  2. Aural-Kinesthetic
  3. Read/Write

Most admitted on their registration forms for this year that music theory and piano technique were their least favorite music subjects. I bore that in mind with this year's handouts.

This year, I incorporated more charts and diagrams (V). I was respectful of white space (V) and included succinct examples (K) and explanations (R). These were followed up by visual demonstrations (V) with the student copying me. My aural students and I discussed various sounds, my kinesthetic students and I discussed how our arms and hands should feel.

Feedbackhas been extremely positive so far. "It's easier" is the most frequent comment.

The trick is that I need to teach music theory and piano technique differently from how I was taught. I was taught written theory first. My students need hands-on, keyboard theory first. It's more fun this way.

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