Your first piano lesson can be a bit overwhelming. But here at Pianoberries, we want to take away the anxiety and give you all the tools you need to succeed. That’s why we give each student a binder on their first piano lesson to help guide them through the year.
This year’s binder focuses on each student’s musical dreams and goals while incorporating fun practice challenges. We also include helpful tips for how we (teacher, student, and parent) can work together to have successful lessons all year long.
Let’s take a look what each student will receive on their first piano lesson:
First is the binder cover. Each binder cover has been personalized by Ms. Robin with the student’s name and a musical quote for inspiration.
“The piano keys are black and white
but they sound like a million colors in your mind” -Maria Cristina Mena
The first section is entitled “About Me”.
Here, the students write or draw some of their musical dreams for piano study. Ms. Robin was inspired by Mind Body Music Academy director Melissa Vining to include this section in the binder. Ms. Vining will actually be teaching an enrichment class later in the year, and we’re so excited! In this section, students will think about what they want to accomplish in a few years or when they grow up (for our youngest students). We want to encourage the students to think through all the steps needed to accomplish their goals. This page is also a great way for the teachers to get to know each of our students.
The next section is entitled “Assignment and Practice Log”.
Here, the teacher writes a note for each assignment and students can record their practice time. Assignment sheets are specialized for each age. We also include practice challenges and special events. Last year, we had a 4-week practice challenge and each student who completed the challenge earned $10 from the studio to help Puerto Rico in the Hurricane Maria recovery effort. This year we will have the same 4-week practice challenge and all the studio money that our students earn will be sent to the MusicLink Foundation to help provide music lessons for children who otherwise could not afford it. Our practice challenges are a fun way to incorporate practice time, have fun, and help out others.
The third section in the binder is the fun “Improvisation and Composition” section.
Each of our student will explore improvisation with the teacher and do ensemble improvisation with piano friends in enrichment classes. We will also have a composition lesson towards the end of the school year. Every year, I’m amazed at the progress of our students from their first piano lesson to the composition lesson!
Finally, we include a “Studio Info”section.
Here, parents can find the studio calendar and a copy of the teacher-parent-student contract. That document is a helpful reminder of the responsibilities of each party in regards to the student’s successful piano lessons.
We hope this binder takes a little of the worry away in anticipation of your first piano lesson. We want all our students to achieve their goals and can’t wait to get started!
Stay tuned for our next blog about what’s in student’s practice kit!