This year, I have several tweens and teens in my studio. Some are preparing for a piano exam, while others are studying music for recreation. One common trait among the majority of them is that they have problems staying on track, that is, time management.
I have vacillated from creating a simple exam preparation timeline to a highly detailed list of goals and milestones. Neither have worked particularly well. Last month, I created a six-week project worksheet and a learning timeline.
As a team, I speak with each of my students to build the learning timeline on Google Docs. Afterwards, I share the link with both the parent and student, granting them viewing and commenting rights. Here’s a screenshot of my student W.’s learning timeline. She’s preparing for her Grade 8 classical piano exam through Conservatory Canada:
Using the learning timeline, we proceeded to break down her learning goals using the six-week project worksheet. So far, she says it’s helped her stay on track more than any other assignment sheet we’ve used in our time together. Here are two of her planning sheets:
My student N. is in Grade 12 at school, so practice time is extremely limited. She isn’t preparing for a piano exam. This is what her learning timeline looks like for this half of the school year:
This is a picture of one of her planning sheets:
My students have been using these music planning sheets since mid-December. So far, they like that they contain just the “right” amount of information. They can see their goals for the week and each month at a glance.
Students and music teachers, if you’d like to download the six-week planning worksheet for educational use, you may do so by clicking here. It works well for recreational music students as well as students preparing for a music exam. Here's a link to view the year-planner.