These tips are provided by another SMU Institute attendee Leila Viss, author of the fantastic series on this blog entitled “Adding a Lab to Your Lessons” and the author of the great blog 88pianokeys. See Wendy’s tips and Dorla’s tips from this great conference as well.

From Scott McBride:

Boys tend to listen only to the first part of a sentence, so be concise early on.
Boys brains have less oxytocin, the primary human bonding chemical. Although the impact of this is unclear, it may lead to more impulsive behavior and lessened desire to please the teacher and follow rules.
Offer opportunities for helper or leadership roles within the lesson. Let them revel in discovering your mistakes.

Robert Vandall:

Students like to play the first note of a piece or phrase the loudest, so encourage them to start with an upward arm motion.
Choose an artistic decision and stick with it.
Find something interesting in the music and make it happen!

Sarah Allen:

Sleep between practice sessions will improve performance.
A small break early on in a practice session enhances memory consolidation.
The brain receives so much input so a break provides the brain time to build a scaffolding on which to attach a stronger memory structure.

Wendy Stevens:

Families should expect a yearly tuition increase.
Set your policies first and deal with exceptions as they come.
False Narrative: “I’m JUST a piano teacher.” The true narrative is: “I’m teaching a highly professional skill and need to value it as such.”
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