Stretch the Student with Challenging Pieces of Music

Woo Hoo! My student Brianna had a break through and I’m so proud of her!

At the beginning of this year I gave my student the option of continuing with her regular lesson books or she could learn music from the movie, Frozen. That was her favorite movie at the time. She chose the music from Frozen.

frozen_coverI got her the easy version of the music, but it was challenging because is was one or two levels more advanced than the music she had been studying. She learned a few of the pieces and stuck with the music until the beginning of April. I said that was enough and it was time to go back to the regular music.

I felt there wasn’t enough progress being made with the music from the movie and I wanted her to see that she could progress faster with the regular music she had be previously learning. I could see frustration over the new music and I didn’t want her to become discouraged.

Well, I’ll tell you what. That was the best decision! She has improved by leaps and bounds and she even said that the music in the regular piano books is much easier than it was before. Her lesson today was proof of that! She had the best lesson ever! Last weeks lesson was good, but this weeks lesson was the best.

I am no longer having to give her “helpers” all over the pages of the music. She has really picked up on the music theory, and her sight-reading is impressive. I usually ask the student if they would like me to play a new piece of music first before they try it. Today, she played the piece first and she did great!

I will never again say no to letting a student pick another type of music unless it is so obvious that they won’t be able to handle it. It will stretch them and it will make their current music look and feel easier.

Way to go Brianna! I am so proud of you!

Teaching Tip: One of the things I do to help my students, is I provide videos and practice tracks for them to use when they are at home. I make these so it is like having me there with them everyday of the week and so the parents know how the music is suppose to sound. If what the student is playing doesn’t sound like how I play the piece then the parent knows the student needs more practice.

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