I'll start with a confession: Sometimes I run out of time for theory.
Don't judge me.
Actually, I'm hoping you'll sympathize. Surely I'm not alone!
As you know, trying to fit everything into a 30-minute lesson is nearly impossible.
Of course, I do have some students who take 45-minute lessons and WOW! It's fantastic. That little extra time makes a world of difference.
Unfortunately, I can't move everyone to a 45-minute lesson. At least not right now. But let me tell you, this is definitely in my future plans!
In the meantime, I'm going to try a new idea this semester and see how it works.
What I'm Doing Now
Here's another confession: I don't have a specific routine for theory.
Maybe that's the problem. I'm definitely a "planner-checkbox-kind-of-gal" and I think it's time to get a more intentional plan of action in this area.
Right now, I tend to discuss theory concepts when they come up in music. (My preferred method is Piano Pronto.) And of course, I love playing games with students. So yes, I'm covering the basics, but I think my students would benefit from a deeper focus.
(And then I can check off that box. Because again, the planner in me needs that!)
Hello "Theory Week"
Instead of "squeezing in" theory here and there, I'm going to devote a full lesson to theory once a month. So 3 weeks out of the month will be learning music as usual and one week will be focused on theory.
I'm guessing we'll still be at the piano quite a bit that week, but it'll be looking at music from a "theory perspective" as opposed to simply learning another song.
I've heard other teachers do this with great success and I'm excited to try it out. (If you've done this, I'd love to hear any suggestions and/or advice.)
After all, experimenting is good. Sometimes we'll discover a solution that works great. Other times, our idea will completely flop! But if we never explore, we'll never know. (This book really helped me apply that concept to my studio.)
What Will My Students Think?
Honestly, I'm not sure how kids will react to this idea. You know I'll do my best to keep "theory week" fun and engaging - hopefully students will enjoy the change of pace.
I'll keep you posted.
Are you a planner like me?
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Other Posts You Might Enjoy
3 Reasons to Play Games to Start a Lesson
4 Ways to Improve Your Studio When You Don't Know Where to Start
10 Ways to Reset When You Don't Feel Like Teaching
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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.