Six Seasonal Songs to Share – New Design
I’m going to be gut honest with you. During the Christmas break, my child will not be practicing every day. As a matter of fact, there will quite a few days that my child will not be “practicing” at all. As a mom, I think it must be this way.
But as a teacher, I think it’s perfectly okay as well. Here’s why:
Your students need a break. If they’ve worked hard this semester, they should be able to enjoy their holiday break without feeling pressure from their piano teacher to practice every day or even as much as they usually do (unless they want to, of course)!
But here’s what I never realized…
Something has become much more evident to me now that my child is taking from another teacher. Now that I’m a parent only (and not the primary teacher for my child), I’ve realized something:
Parents need a break too!
I’m in the trenches these days with my kiddos. And sometimes it’s just agony to drag a reluctant child to the bench to practice. Sometimes, it’s torture to get your child to the bench after a long day at school and large amounts of homework. Sometimes, even when they do get to the bench, a child’s body language and sour face is excruciating for parents. Sometimes parents just need to not have a list of things they have to make their child do! Things like:
- Brushing their teeth
- Cleaning their room (or at least “making a path”)
- Taking a shower or both
- Practicing (I would guess that many kiddos don’t waltz to the piano of their own free will)
Obviously, there are more things in the long list of things parents have to make their children do, but you get the point.
So as more of a parent than a teacher this semester, I would beg you to consider giving parents a break from the need to make their child practice every day during the holiday break. (If your students have an upcoming festival, keep reading and see “What if my student has a festival or competition?” below.)
Here’s what you can do instead:
Obviously, we don’t want students to lose their nimble fingers, rhythm, or reading skills during the break! So why not just challenge them to play their holiday pieces for guests, friends, over Skype to someone they love, and more! Better yet, they can get their special card autographed by their friends and family and you can turn it into a contest!
I can’t believe it’s been six years since I first introduced the old Six Seasonal Songs to Share resource. Even in that blog post, I mentioned that I was short on time, so I used some rather clip-arty images which I didn’t altogether like.
So I thought it was high time that I designed a new Six Seasonal Songs to Share card that was much more beautiful and eye-catching!
How does the Six Seasonal Songs to Share idea work?
Here’s a way you can use the Six Seasonal Songs to Share to help keep students playing during the holiday break:
- Students prepare and polish six songs with you during their lessons.
- During the holiday break they have friends and family pick 2 of their 6 songs and the student then plays those pieces for them.
- The people who hear their two songs autograph the back of the card.
Of course, there may be other ways to use the resource as well. Feel free to be creative!
Turn it into a sharing contest!
One year, I told the students that the person with the most signatures on the back would get a prize when they got back from Christmas break. Prizes like Frixion pens (that can help in their practice) have always been popular with students.
What if my student has a festival or competition?
Of course, if there is a festival or competition coming up, students will have to practice. But you can adapt your expectations to still give them a break from the usual amount of practice. Perhaps they just need to practice the competition piece. Perhaps you can chat with the parents about a practice plan that reasonably allows for holiday fun.
Just be sure to listen to the parents about their needs and the needs of their child when you suggest a practice plan.
Tips on printing the Six Seasonal Songs to Share:
Printing is easy and straightforward, but here are a few tips:
Once you have signed up for the resource, you’ll get an email. Click on the download link in the email and it will go to your downloads folder. Open it in Adobe Reader from there.
- Open in Adobe Reader.
Adobe Reader is the industry standard for viewing and printing PDFs. It is a safe download if your computer does not already have it.
- Print at 100%. (Don’t scale.)
When we design almost everything, we put a .3 inch margin so that even when you print at 100%, it won’t cut off anything.
- Print in color.
Color is just better and this design won’t use very much color ink. But if you want, there is almost always a way that you can print black and white. You’ll just have to adjust your printer settings.