Many teachers want to spend time doing rather than planning. After all, who wants to spend hours each week prepping for lessons? Not me. Here is the fastest way to organize your music lab assignments.
Make a plan
In my studio, I’ve used several different approaches for planning music labs. But, the most successful approaches have all had one thing in common.
Have a clear plan of what you want to cover.
Going into your prep time without a plan means either you:
- Have to replan at a later date
- Miss important concepts
When you know exactly what you want your students to get out of their labs, it makes it much easier to know what activities will work best for them.
To create or purchase
Have you ever assigned something to a student you hadn’t tried out first?
I’m sheepishly putting up my hand right now.
You & I both know it rarely works out well.
If the thought of having a comprehensive plan is already sounding overwhelming, planning activities from scratch may not be your best option.
Instead, look for a program that is ready-made by experts & fits the goals you have in mind.
Not only will you save time, but you will also save money over the year because someone has already tested everything out for you!
Keys to Imagination has a new program, Music Theory App Map, that does exactly this.
Add some choice
Students are used to getting a fairly high degree of flexibility in their programming. Schools are moving more to a student-driven approach with multiple options for showing learning at each stage.
Teachers are finding the same in their music studios. Students want choice. And, when they don’t get a choice they tend to leave lessons sooner.
Go beyond giving choice in repertoire by giving students choice in their music labs as well.
Programs, such as Music Theory App Map, allow teachers to choose the options that are best for their students. Building in student choice is as easy as telling the student they can choose between a set number of assignments.
How to organize music lab assignments
Let’s see what these 3 tips look like on a practical level if you want to organize music lab assignments that tie in with the method book your student uses.
Devon is using Carol Matz’s Interactive Piano Method & is learning about eighth notes. A new kitten has joined the family & Devon loves monkeys.
If you have created your own music labs, you will choose activities that reinforce eighth notes & tie in with your student’s interests.
If you have purchased Music Theory App Map you turn to the section that shows options for Devon’s level.
In this case, it shows Rhythm Cat, Rhythm Swing & Sproutbeat Leap activities that specifically focus on eighth notes.
By giving the option of Rhythm Cat or Rhythm Swing, Devon has choices that are:
- Level appropriate
- Skill specific
To make this even better, within seconds you have:
- Planned music lab
- Used your purchased copy of Music Theory App Map &
- Added choice for your student
Ready to prep your labs?
Not only is it written by experts, but it is also flexible & comes with a studio license!
And, it directly correlates to:
- Alfred’s Premier Course (available August 2020)
- Carol Matz’s Interactive Piano Method
Or, you can purchase “Any Method” if you like to switch between different method books.
In the comments below, let us know …
What is the most important consideration for you when planning your studio music labs?