Last year I started doing something different during lessons and it's been so successful that I wanted to share it with you.
I'm the type of teacher who likes to change things up and keep it fun for students. Using games and apps at the END of a lesson is one way I do that.
But then I got a idea - What would happen if I reversed that process and began using games at the START of the lesson.
Would it be a good warm-up for my students?
Or would they get "too silly" and lose their focus once they sat down at the piano?
As it turns out, starting with games as been a brilliant move and I wish I'd done it years ago!
1. Games are a great review.
When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. By starting with game-time, you're giving students the chance to review notes BEFORE diving into music. This is true for both physical games and apps.
Even something as simple as playing around with Iwako Erasers is a great way to review keyboard geography.
AND best of all - students are reviewing notes at a face pace, so you're really getting their brain warmed up for music!
2. Games are a great way to introduce new concepts.
Have a student who hasn't learned fractions yet? Rhythm Pizza to the rescue!
Need to introduce new note values to a student? Kitty Rhythms will help!
Of course, all students are different, but many will process concepts quicker if they see new notations BEFORE they're presented in their music book. Games are a perfect way to accomplish this.
3. Games are fun!
We both know that the best students are those who are excited about piano lessons.
If you start lessons with a game, kids will be thrilled to dash into your studio. Can't you just hear them thinking: I wonder what game we'll play today?
And of course, students that are engaged during lesson time and will definitely practice more at home. That's a win for everyone!
But What Will Parents Think?
I'll let you in on a little secret: For years, I felt guilty about starting the lesson with an app.
I felt like the music should come first and didn't want parents to be upset with me for "playing games" first instead of teaching music.
I've come to realize that if something works - you go with it!
The best part about this change is that I'm not the only one who sees students doing better--they see it too.
Then your entire studio benefits!
Do you start lessons with a game or save a few minutes at the end? I'd love to know what works for you!
Other posts you might enjoy...
10 Ways to Reset When You Don't Feel Like Teaching
4 Ways to Improve Your Studio When You Don't Know Where to Start
Easy Ways to Add Group Lessons
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.