How to Ensure Your Piano Students Feel a Sense of Achievement - Creative Music Education
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How to Ensure Your Piano Students Feel a Sense of Achievement

By Tracy Plunkett | Classically Trained to Creatively Curious

Oct 30

piano students

For piano students to continue being motivated to play the piano, they must first be filled with a sense of achievement.

After all, if they don’t feel they are making any progress with their lessons, they will not be too keen on continuing.

Now, there is no denying that the approach you decide to take will need to be tailored to fit the student in question. However, there are some guidelines you can follow to be able to make this a simpler process for you:

Choose Appropriate Goals

As a piano teacher, you don’t really need to be reminded that every student is different.

Some are naturally talented and take to an instrument like a fish to water. Others, however, have a slightly more difficult time developing even the most basic skills. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as an instructor is to believe that the same practices and routines can be used on every student and would produce the same results.

If you want a child to feel a sense of achievement, you must first choose goals that are suited to their abilities. Otherwise, you will be asking them to develop skills they are simply not capable of.

So, for the first few lessons, pay close attention to your student to identify what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then, based on these observations, you can construct the proper objectives. By doing this, you will see that your students reach their goals more easily, thus allowing them to feel a sense of accomplishment.

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Deconstruct the Goal Into Smaller Tasks

Once you have settled on the main goal, it is time to break this down into smaller tasks. If you are teaching a particularly young student, you will find that the smaller the task is, the better.

While long-term goals are undoubtedly vital, quicker short-term goals are just as imperative. See, the bigger goals tend to take longer to complete, which means that your student can get discouraged, feeling as though they haven’t made any progress.

On the other hand, if you start with short-term goals, your students will be able to reach their objectives a lot sooner. The sense of motivation that they feel will propel them to continue practicing.

Let Students Choose Their Own Purpose

Your job as a piano teacher involves having certain standards that you want each of your students to meet. It is important to understand, however, that this isn’t necessarily what your students are interested in. For them, mastering the piano might be about showing off to their friends or being able to play their favorite piece of music.

So, with this in mind, you might want to let them pick a goal of their own. This can be an objective that they strive towards, in addition to the completion of their regular lessons. You will often find that most students have that one song that they really want to learn to play.

So, for a short period after their lesson ends, show them how to master the song. Every time they complete a lesson they are actually interested in, you will be able to notice a sense of accomplishment in them.

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Celebrate Their Successes

Younger students, in particular, might not yet have developed a strong sense of self-accomplishment. Instead, they rely on the adults and peers in their life to congratulate them on a job well done. Thus, as a teacher, it can be helpful to celebrate the progress that they have made, even if it is not particularly major. Of course, while doing so, you should stay away from physical presents or bribes like candy and stickers.

Instead, try to get more creative with it. For example, you could have a wall where you keep track of each student’s accomplishments. Or, you can make a short recording of the student reaching their goal – you could even have them explain everything they had to do in order to reach it. The students can then proudly show this off to their parents.

Another great idea is to ask the student’s parents to take them to look at the instrument that they want to get in the future. This way, they can try out their newly-acquired skills on their favorite piano.

Redefine the Concept of Success

Now, in the previous paragraphs, we dealt with choosing individualized objectives, based on what each student is capable of achieving. On a similar note, it is just as vital that you redefine what success means to each student.

This is because you can’t always grade everyone on the same scale, especially not if you want them to feel as though they are accomplishing something during their lessons. So, when you feel like a student has made marked and definite improvements in their playing, make it a point to revel in these accomplishments.

These are all the different ways you can help your students feel a sense of achievement while learning how to play the piano. While it may require additional effort on your part, the outcome will certainly be worth it.

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Tracy Plunkett

About the Author

Tracy Plunkett is a writer and blogger with a passion for all things music-related. When she isn’t playing music herself, Tracy spends her time researching how to choose musical instruments and finding easy ways to master them. She loves sharing what she learns with her readers.