4 Tips for Writing More Effective Piano Lesson Assignments

The topic of the latest newsletter from Music Educators Marketplace really resonated with me: Tips for Effective Practice Assignments. It always amazes me how often students return to their lesson with very little reference to their assignment book during the week. (I’m not the only one that deals with this, right?!) But the more I’ve pondered this, the more I realize that some of the fault lies with me and my approach to writing assignments. I think as teachers we may subconsciously write the assignments more for our own benefit than the student’s! So, I think it’s definitely worth exploring ways to make assignments more effective. Here are the 4 Tips shared in the newsletter:

1. Consider Visual Appeal

2. Include Specific Goals and Specific Suggestions for Results

3. Engage the Student as a Collaborator in Creating Practice Steps

4. Expect Student Engagement with the Assignment at Home

Click here to view the whole newsletter with more elaboration of each tip. I’m doing lots of revamping of my studio for this fall, so I’m excited to take these tips into consideration and figure out ways to make student assignments more effective so that their practicing, in turn, will be more effective during the week. If you have any additional tips that have worked well for you, please do share!

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3 thoughts on “4 Tips for Writing More Effective Piano Lesson Assignments

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips Natalie. Encouraging my students to practice can be challenging, but it depends on the pupil. For my younger students, they can often forget their practice diary, but on the whole, they tend to practice more than my older ones. I think this is mainly due to parents who can monitor their practice time. I like the idea of visual appeal (something I’m bad at and my handwriting is not the greatest!) Specific goals are important, and it’s something I think all teachers should follow.

  2. These are great suggestions. I especially like the idea of a self created practice challenge. That would make a great weekly theme for the studio, and I’m sure it would be interesting to see what students come up with during their practice at home. Lately I’ve been using Moosic Studio for assignments. Parents like to get an update about what’s going on during lessons, and I also print out the assignments as well. Thanks for sharing all your tips!

  3. Great tips! I find it helpful to have some students write down practice steps or notes themselves. The act of writing something out seems to help commit it memory. As a student myself, I remember that I always had trouble reading my teacher’s cursive handwriting. Now I check to make sure students can read and understand anything I’ve written or included on their assignment sheet.

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