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Lesson Plans get in the way!

by: jamesmusicstudio
teacher member
Nov 26, 2011
3:21 am

A skilled teacher with a decent method book shouldn't need a lesson plan. Lesson plans are a drudgery invented by bureaucrats in college education depts. Real teachers know their subject well enough to let instruction flow out of them. Anyone who needs a prepared guide to tell them what to do next is in the wrong field. That's what a good method book is for.

James Weinberg, BMus, MME
James' Music Studio, LLC
Piano Lessons and Vocal Coaching
4 Locations in Williamson County
5 replies total

by: member1838
teacher member
Feb 2, 2012
5:03 pm

I agree in theory, but in practice I find it useful to at least keep notes on the progress of my students in specific categories, I.e. Technique, Theory, Improvisation, etc. I keep a lesson plan book and plan my students personal goals as well as where I would like them to be developmentally in 3 months, 6 months, and a year. That allows me the flexibility as you say, to let the instruction flow freely and at the same time provides a backbone guide so that we don't get too far afield distracted by amusing creative tangents and neglecting our core fundamentals.


by: madisonmusicfoundry
teacher member
Feb 2, 2012
5:53 pm

Most private instructors I know don't use lesson plans. However, the ones that do are often the most effective. It's not that they blindly follow the lesson plan, but when a student is interested in working on something specific (technique, theory, etc.), then they are ready to launch into it and give a general timeline and specific goals.

The existence of a lesson plan also can reassure parents who are rarely in the lesson room. Of course there are other ways to reassure them such as talking after lessons and recitals.


by: elliemusic
teacher member
Mar 2, 2012
6:56 pm

Lesson plans evolve from the previous assignment. If a child needs to work on a piece more, the first notation on his new assignment should be REVIEW LAST PIECE ON LAST LESSON. REMEMBER TO USE METRONOME AND USE FINGERING WHERE SECOND FINGER GOES OVER THUMB or whatever directions that will give him something specific to work on. Plans can also evolve during the lesson. If a child is having a problem with a weak finger, you can write a simple exercise right in his assignment book and have him play it for you to make sure he is doing it correctly. The student is actually the one creating the lesson plan. Your job is to show him what that plan is.

Eleanor Baldwin

by: trouchbaton
teacher member
Mar 2, 2012
11:31 pm

I am a band director as well as a private flute teacher. In the band room, a lesson plan is a necessity. I don't find that so much in the private studio. Sure, I make little notes, but those are a different animal in comparison to the full nine-step lesson plan I use in the band room.


by: Mark Adamczyk
teacher member
Mar 3, 2012
5:44 am

A method book IS a lesson plan. If you don't have a method, your student(s) needs _something_ to show her where she is and where she is expected to be going. Sure, I know all that stuff in my head, but the plan has to be clear to the students as well to be effective.

So in a band room for example, yeah, a plan is needed (especially with spring concerts coming up). Share that plan, verbally and quickly, with the band at the start of rehearsal.

Speaking of recitals (was I?), they are part of the plan, so to speak. When my students see that date looming a few weeks away, they really buckle down. That's a lesson plan that gets results!

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