Motivation = assigning pieces students actually like! : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I choose 4-5 (or more) pieces at the students current level and play each, allowing students to "rate" them from 1-10. I can't tell you how helpful this has been! Not only does it tell me WHAT the student likes, but exactly HOW MUCH. I know when I assign a "10" they will be putting in some serious time on their piano benches. I am constantly amazed at how often I begin what I THINK will be a "9-10" piece, and discover it's a "3". I have also scrambled to my bookshelve to pull out "anything" (ok, I wasn't prepared!)...and flip to a piece by chance that gets an excited "10" scream from the child.

If anything, I've learned that I cannot second-guess what a child may like. I am constantly surprised!

PS -- Imagine how extremely DIFFICULT it is too practice a piece we simply do not enjoy; children are no different.

-- John Bisceglia (, March 20, 2001


Hi John, I do a similiar thing: the lesson after the big spring recital is our "Listening Lesson". I have chosen 10+ pieces to play for my students (they get to sit in the "teacher's chair" for the entire lesson) and they fill out a fun worksheet rating each piece. I also have a copy of their worksheet and I can record their ratings to put in their files. I kind of hype this lesson ahead of time and invite parents to come in and listen too. I've had great results! During the summer I grab these sheets and plan ahead for the next school year. At first I wondered if parents would be upset by this "blow-off" lesson, but most of them thanked me for the opportunity. It was nice to do it right after the recital, it helped cure any "let- down" feeling after working so hard for a big performance. P.S. - I also got rid of a lot of supplemental music I would never have chosen but my students LOVED.

-- Jennifer DeBrosse (, March 22, 2001.

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