Phew, financial plan done and feeling fantastic. Today might be easy as pie, or it could be a bit stickier. We’re talking method books and conducting a method book audit.
What the fudge is a method book audit? It’s a close examination of the one or many method books you use and how they align with your teaching goals and philosophies.
When you’re choosing a method book for your beginning music students you want it to work with you. You want a method book that matches as closely as possible with the order you want to teach concepts, the style of your studio and the type of students you teach.
Method Book Assessment
Ask yourself these questions about each method book you have, or are considering buying. (You can download a pdf version of these questions below under Action Steps.)
- How closely does this match the order I want to teach concepts in?
- Do I like the way they explain techniques?
- Does it include theory exercises? Do I want it to or would I prefer a separate theory book?
- Is the music engaging for my students?
- Are the pieces in the right style (pop, chordal, classical, mixed) for my studio?
- Is the design of the books right for me? Is it clear, fun, or inviting and would I prefer it to look different?
- Are there any reading crutches or other bad habits that students might develop using this book?
- Is it within a good price range or will parents struggle with the cost?
- How might you supplement any gaps you see in this book? Would that be easy to do?
- Download the Method Book Audit pdf or get out your favourite notebook.
- Answer the questions about every book you’re considering or currently use.
- If your current method comes out on top – open the champagne.
- If a different books starts to look like a good fit for you then make plans to explore and implement it within the next semester or with the next new student that comes your way.
What’s your current favourite method book series?
Has it changed over the years you’ve been teaching? Do you use different books with every student or one with pretty much everyone?
Tell us all about your experiences with the various method books in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook or in the comments below.