At Music Central, we are all about showing kids the marvellous world of music. Our philosophy is to create a lesson environment where kids don’t just learn an instrument, but where they learn to be great musicians with broad musical perspective. In Part One of “Creating a Musical Lesson”, we listed five musical topics that teachers and students commonly visit to make the lesson broader and more of a musical experience.
I hope you enjoy the final five!
- Sight Reading.
Often students have negative connotations with sight reading. The best way to gain or regain confidence is to offer students easier sight reading exerpts. Once they have found some consistency with easier material, slowly move them into harder exercises over time. Sight reading has obvious rewards, but is not every child’s strength so must be treated sensitively.
- Scales / Exercises.
Scales and exercises are pretty common logic but can get over looked with students who have opted for more casual lessons. If your student is taking casual lessons, make sure you explain the benefits of working on scales and drills so they can develop strength and dexterity in their playing. Get creative with exercises and see how you can make them fun!
- Performance and Exam Prep.
“Role play” in the lesson room is a great way to increase confidence in the lead up to a performance or exam. Teachers can create a performance or exam environment by changing the way you speak, where you are seated in the room or even inviting a parent into the lesson. Mock scores and critiques can be given so students know where there is room for improvement.
- Games/ Apps.
With the approval of parents, Apps are a great way for students to learn theory, write or gain better coordination and aural skills. It is important to get parent permission before Apps are purchased so you know they are in agreement with the use of game software in a lesson. See the links at the bottom of the page for some great ideas for Smart Phone Apps.
- Musical Genre and Music History.
As teachers, we often take for granted our knowledge of music genres and music history. A lot of young students may not know the difference between Rock & Roll and Jazz for example, something that we would assume is very obvious. Music History and genre discussions should not be reserved for class music lessons at school. Educating your students on these topics will help them join the dots and get an appreciation for the music they are learning, or might want to learn.
If you are an experienced teacher and musician, you will be well versed with most, if not all of the topics listed. Remember, however, that your student is new to the world of music so keep your lesson broad and entertaining by visiting as many topics as you can and you might be surprised with how much more musical your lesson room becomes.
Good luck out there!