Do you wish your students’ parents were more involved in your studio? Piano parent reports might be the answer you’re looking for.
Piano parent reports can keep everyone in your studio up-to-date on the progress, expectations and how they can help their children succeed at the piano.
But you have to find the right system and flow for you. Which is what I’m going to help you with today.
Why Do Piano Parent Reports?
Involved Piano Parents
We don’t necessarily see every piano parent in our studio, every week. Even when we do, it might only be for a few seconds.
Yet piano parents are vital to our students’ progress. If they aren’t involved and supporting their child’s practice at home, it will be hard to gain momentum.
One of the biggest reasons parents are not involved is that they don’t know what’s going on. If we keep them in the loop, they’re much more likely to feel confident helping out and guiding their child.
Pushy No More
Have you ever had a piano parent push you for the next exam/competition/piece…./insertthingchildisnotreadyforhere…
What I’ve come to realise over my years of teaching in a highly exam focused country is that what parents really want is to see a measure of progress or success.
This doesn’t need to be an exam.
Exams are just the thing that they know how to ask for.
The same is true of asking for their child to play Für Elise or The Entertainer. They just know that that signifies something, and otherwise, it’s hard for them to tangibly quantify this huge investment of time and money that they’re making.
Almost all of this pushiness went away in an instant when I started updating my piano parents more often and making an effort to explain why we were doing this, that and the other.
If you experience pushy parents, you should definitely give piano parent reports a try.
When should you do reports? How often?
The short answer is: as often as you’re comfortable with.
I think there could be a benefit to doing piano parent reports every month. However, that’s a big commitment (depending on the style and depth of the report).
In my studio, I update our reports at the start of the year and then every 10 weeks from there. That’s 5 times per academic year and this feels like a good balance.
Any longer than 10-12 weeks and I think you’re going to have too much to say. It will be hard to remember and note all of the things that happened over an entire year, for example, and I think it would end up unreadably long.
We don’t want to write an essay.
What should you write in your reports?
Writing out reports for each of your students can be a bit of a daunting task.
So don’t make it more daunting than it needs to be. Keep it informal, keep it light.
These do not need to look like school report cards. In fact, I think it’s much better if they don’t.
The template I’m sharing with you will give you a great starting point as it includes these headings:
- Goals (primary and secondary)
- Resources to review
- Current books
- Progress updates
Once you have those top sections filled out, filling in the progress updates becomes a lot easier because you can refer back to the goals you set.
Where is your student in relation to these goals? If they’re behind, why do you think that is? What needs to change to move them forward? How can the parent help with this?
How to Do Piano Parent Reports
The simplest way I’ve found to do piano parent reports is using Google Docs. The main benefits of this is that they’re easily shareable and I can update them from wherever I am, on whatever device I want.
(In fact, I use Google Drive in a few different ways in my studio. Find out more about that in this article.)
Download the Google Docs Piano Parent Report Template
This template uses Google Docs so that you can get this set up simply and easily. Just make a copy of the template for each of your students and off you go!
Do you do progress updates in your piano studio?
What system works for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers.