Someone once said, “You will be the same person you are today in 10 years except for the influence of the books you read and the people you hang around with.” This could probably be said specifically of us as teachers, too. I don’t ever want to get stuck in a rut of teaching the same old things the same old way. That’s why I subscribe to various music magazines, read music and education-related books, subscribe to dozens of music blogs, etc. There are always so many insightful and inspiring nuggets to be gained from others! Here are a few great thoughts that I came across recently:

“Piano teachers often cite the disparity of student levels in groups as a primary concern. I see this as an enormous advantage rather than an insurmountable hindrance. Because of this dynamic environment involving students with unique abilities and individual differences, students stand to learn something from one another and can contribute something meaningful to the group. Further, the potential for groups to motivate students to higher levels of achievement is an undeniable benefit. Indeed, the efficacy of group piano teaching is proven and the list of its merits is expansive.” ~Christopher Fisher, in an interview at ComposeCreate.com.

“Baby steps are tangible proof that some work is better than throwing in the towel, and that even the smallest action toward my goal serves me better than giving up…Truth is, large swatches of time never open up in my life, but baby steps I can manage.” ~Amy Greer, columnist for the AMT Magazine

“I assigned students to keep track of which pieces were their favorites during the recital – which ones they would want to learn in the future.” ~Bruce Berr, columnist for the AMT Magazine, describing the ingenious idea he had for helping his students stay focused and enjoy the music that their fellow students were performing at the studio recital. [I love this idea and want to try it at my next recital!]

“Your habits in the practice room make you the musician that you are.” Gerald Klickstein, in his book, The Musician’s Way

“My daughter said her favorite group lessons activity ever was playing “musical keys” with it.  Students each drew a flashcard and walked around the keyboard sheet with music playing.  When the music stopped they had to race to place their flashcards on the correct key.” Heidi, in her comment on last week’s Giant-Sized Piano Keyboard post [doesn’t this sound like a blast?! I can’t wait to try it with my students!]

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