Finding a Pot of Gold and Prepared Practice

Imagination is everything. If I tell a student we’re going to do a score study, I’m either met with a blank stare or with disappointment. But if I tell that same student we’re going to follow the rainbow to a pot of gold, the score study suddenly becomes exciting! It’s the same objective coming in a different package 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day is just weeks away, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to incorporate this often forgotten holiday into your lesson plans 🙂 Your students likely won’t be forgetting to pinch those who don’t wear green! But why score study?

In our quick-fix society, students often come to a new song and jump right in without looking at the big picture of the piece. This is similar to following instructions to put together a piece of furniture … except you don’t know what materials you’ll need to put it together or even what the finished furniture will be! Your furniture endeavor will likely end up being a waste of time.

Today I’m sharing a simple score study sheet that can be used with some of your newest students. It’s never too late to start teaching your students how to properly start a piece (before they begin practice), but it’s also never too early! In my years of teaching, I’ve realized that the more I continue to point out for my students, the less they read what’s on the page and learn to really read and learn the music for themselves.

My goal is to inspire my students and to {eventually} be able to send them off because they no longer need me. And for this reason, it is vitally important that I start from the very beginning by leading my students through score studies and asking questions rather than giving statements.

So today I am sharing two activities in hopes that you’ll be inspired to use imagination in your lessons through the rest of March.

First, I’ve created a score study handout where you students have to follow the rainbow in order to get to the pot of gold (in this case the pot of gold is being ready to actually practice a piece). This simple sheet is great to pull out and work through together in lessons- but remember as the teacher you are to ask questions, not give statements! It can also be a great tool for the student to keep with their piano books. This will allow Mom or Dad to easily help them get started at home, and will also give the student the ability to begin learning a new piece without the teacher’s help!

Learning to be an effective score studier takes time. It begins with the teacher’s guided help. But it MUST eventually transition into the student being able to ask and answer all of the necessary questions for a piece on their own. Healthy practice depends on this!

To finish off today, I have also created a simple and low-prep game to help your beginning (primer) students reinforce different elements they’d see in a typical piece. Print, cut, and laminate, and you’re ready to go 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

2 thoughts on “Finding a Pot of Gold and Prepared Practice

  1. Pingback: On the Hunt: A Free Score Study Printable – Piano Possibilities

  2. Pingback: Bringing Easter to the Studio – Piano Possibilities

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