If your new to teaching or you’ve been doing it for a long time you know the first lesson is always important. You want your new student to have a great experience with out getting lost in all the introductory details. Here are 3 things I always include in my first lesson.
- Piano Playing – It may seem a little silly to mention, but if you are using method books, normally the first five pages or so it don’t have the student doing much on the piano. Sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with something that the brand new student can sound good on the first time they touch the keys. One of my favorite things to do is an improvisation activity. Like this one: Snow Swirls at the Piano (2nd Page) by Faber and Faber. It’s made to go along with the Piano Adventures Primer level but it’s sounds great, whether the student is little or an adult.
- Finger Numbers – Most books introduce this early on, but usually just talking through the finger numbers isn’t enough, especially for younger beginners. I like to at least get a piece of paper and trace the students hand and have them number their fingers. I also like these 14 creative ideas and this game.
- Home Work – Whether you were able to get through enough of the background info in the first lesson to get to a piece of music or not, it’s important to give your new student something to work on during the week. This could be a worksheet, an activity to do with a parent or sibling, a simple game or something to research on their own. This assignment sets the expectations for regular practice and also gives them something to look forward to showing when they come back the next week
So teachers, what are your first lessons must-haves? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!