You know those books that stay with you long after you finish the last page?
That's how I feel about The Dynamic Studio by Philip Johnston.
I chose this as the launch book for the book club because it's one I read years ago and absolutely loved. I knew it'd be the perfect selection to get everyone excited about fall lessons.
From the very first page, Philip challenged me, excited me, and helped me see all the possibilities that exist with my studio.
My Teaching Rut
When I first read this book, I was exhausted and truthfully, a little depressed. My son had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was a rough time for our family - emotionally and financially. Of course, learning to care for Matthew became the top priority and teaching got pushed to the back-burner.
Before I knew it, I was in a massive teaching rut and I'm sure my students noticed. Oh sure - I tried to appear upbeat and excited, but in hindsight, my lessons were boring. I was simply going through the motions and putting very little effort into lessons.
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm sure my students suffered from my lack of enthusiasm.
Shortly after Matthew's diagnosis, I discovered The Dynamic Studio. The description pulled me in immediately. How to keep students? Dazzle parents? It sounded like fun and oh how I needed some fun.
This Book Has Changed Me
With every page that I read, I found this weight being lifted from my shoulders. Philip gave me hope. I realized that adding a few minor tweaks to my studio could have a tremendous impact on my students. I could bring back the fun for all of us.
Not only did my enthusiasm return, my studio doubled in size. I even wrote a book - 101 Piano Practice Tips. It was wonderful to feel like my "old self" and enjoy piano lessons again.
Some of My Favorite Quotes
"We cannot continue to teach the same way we were taught, because the students we're working with are not simply more contemporary versions of what we once were. They're just not."
"It's about switching the focus from curriculum and methods to being able to engage today's students compellingly enough to keep them."
"Establish a Theory And Pizza evening. Which of your students might be laughing for the first time in a theory lesson, instead of looking at their watch?"
"You have to actively create reasons to stay. The key is to make sure the reasons to stay is long, and regularly being added to."
What are those reasons? In The Dynamic Studio, Philip shares his ideas with you and helps you think outside the box so that you come up with your own reasons.
Such good stuff.
What's Your Story?
Faith is a big part of my life and by the grace of God, I got through those tough years. Our family adjusted to our "new normal" and my teaching life is back on track.
I say all this to encourage you. Life is tough and things don't always go the way we want, but you do have choices.
And it decides with hope. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that there are other alternatives. You really can do something different.
As Philip would say, ""Make a decision as CEO of your teaching studio - which is exactly what your are - and create change."
You can do it!
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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.