by Jenny Bay
Happy Tuesday! I'd like to thank all my great readers who keep coming back even after such intermittent posting on my part :) I'd like to get back to sharing some simple teaching tips each Tuesday that have helped me in my own studio - and hopefully they can give you some ideas to help in yours! Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.
Today's tip is about highlighters. I love to keep a highlighter marker near my piano to use during lessons. Then I have my students use it to sort of analyze a piece they are working on, and to isolate and highlight a specific thing they need to work on.
I have a student who just learned a piece in their book very well - that is, he learned all the notes perfectly but I didn't hear much change in dynamic levels. So I had him take the highlighter and go through the piece and circle all of the dynamics.
Slurs are another great one - have your student highlight the slurs or phrases in a piece to help them remember to play them nice and legato.
Whatever a student is learning or struggling with at the moment is a great thing to circle or highlight. Having the student actually do the highlighting puts them right in the middle of the learning process; rather than watch you circle the things that they missed in their music, they have the opportunity to take a good look at their own music and figure it out on their own.
What are some simple ways you involve the student in the learning process? Do you have any particular ways you typically like to mark up the student's music?