Do you always want to fit in more creativity into your lessons? Well today’s the day to get away from the score. Leave the page behind and open up the world of improvisation, composition or rote teaching.
In the last few years there seems to have been a shift among music teachers towards more creative teaching. Including improvising and composing in lessons is no longer such an unusual idea.
This has brought on new challenges for many teachers.
Find the Time
I hear from teachers all the time who are wondering how to fit it all in to the limited lesson time. When we add these creative activities on top of the repertoire, scales, theory and whatever else we already need to teach it can feel overwhelming.
I’m officially giving you permission to leave something out. Borrow some time from another activity and get away from the score. It’s OK. 😉
Once you know the big secret of teaching improvisation – you won’t feel like you’re stealing time away from another activity.
If you need more help fitting it all in during lesson time you might like the post ‘3 Ways to Solve the 30 Minute Time Crunch‘.
Make a Choice
Another worry is how to choose between all the wonderful resources out there. The global information age means we can share ideas and plans from teachers all over the world. So how do you know which ideas to try out?
You don’t. You can’t know, you just need to start somewhere and have a go. Take the opportunity today to try out just one new activity away from the score.
If you already have a list of creative ideas bookmarked to try – then hop to it! Pick one out (at random if you can’t decide) and commit to trying it out this week with at least one student.
Don’t have a list of off the page activities at the ready? Pick one out from the list below. Choose whatever appeals to you – just remember to close those books and embrace the messiness of being creative.
- Piano Safari ‘Rote Pieces and Technical Exercises’
- ‘Repertoire by Rote’ by Amy Greer and Dennis Alexander
- ‘Little Gems for Piano’ by Paula Dreyer
- Any piece that is very pattern based
- Work out a folk or pop song together by ear
- ‘Pattern Play’ by Forrest Kinney
- Make up your own based on a scale the student is learning
- Snowflake Piano Improvisation for Kids
- Using the 12 bar blues to inspire beginners
- Spring Themes Composing Project
- Garageband to the Rescue
- How to introduce composing to piano students
- Pick your creative activity to try
- Choose which student to try it with (it could be all of them)
- Make it a priority during your next lesson with them
What are you going to teach away from the score?
Give yourself some accountability by posting your creative teaching activity in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook or in the comments below. Let’s have some fun off the page!