Making Repetitions in Piano Practice Fun

As teachers we all know that a student is going to need to practice a new concept several times if they’re really going to learn it, besides isn’t this half of practicing?  But how do you get young children to understand this concept?  Try this.

Get a set of plastic animals.

The goal is to collect 5 animals (variation: Collect as many as you can throughout the lesson.)

Each time a child plays the section correctly they choose an animal to place on the piano. Young students love this and I no longer hear any complaints about repetitions!20130818_KDS_02364

Favorite animal sets have been


Snakes, Lizards and Frogs



Sea Animals


Dogs and cats (each dog is a different breed)20130818_KDS_02359

Go get your own set of animals this week and try this!
















Keep your Students looking forward to their lessons with this simple idea

One on the things my younger students (ages 4-9) enjoy is the weekly prize box.  Each week they are given a simple assignment to complete.  If they complete the assignment by the following weeks lesson they are rewarded by picking out of the prize box. I have given assignments from practicing 5 days a week to anything related to their lesson.  Students are motivated when the realize that they don’t get to select a prize with out completing their assignment.  This is such a simple tool to add to your studio but adds just that extra touch to lessons and can set your studio apart.  You will be amazed at how young students are affected by having a prize as a reward.  I have found it valuable to occasionally switch the choices I have in my prize box.


Usually I include:Looking Forward to piano lessons


Coloring Sheets

Recipes (choose ones directed for children. I am always amazed at how popular these are)

Instructions for drawing animals etc.

Mazes and hidden pictures

Instructions for simple paper crafts


Occasionally I addLooking forward to piano lessons

mini erasers (these are usually a huge hit and only cost about $1 for a pack)

Holiday themed Stickers

Once a year I usually include candy for a fun surprise.


Try to pick coloring sheets and stickers based on what is popular at the time.  For example if I know I have several students that like a recent animated film produced I will look for coloring sheets on this theme.

This only takes a few minutes but can add a nice simple addition to your studio that doesn’t cost much.

Need Suggestions on recipes and other resources to print for prize box? Check out my Pinterest board on this theme.

Motivating Students



Catching Bugs-Learning C and G

When working with very young students I have found it beneficial to drill just a few notes at a time.  I like to make sure a student knows a few notes well before adding more notes. So I decided to design games with just the notes I wanted to drill.  Some of these games are designed to correspond to what students are learning in their method books, while some of the games I designed were for a student who was struggling with a particular ‘set’ of notes..


I personally enjoy using a combination of  landmark notes and intervals to teach reading.  Catching Bugs was designed to drill the important landmark notes of middle C and landmark G .

I like to use gems to cover the bugs when they draw the corresponding note.  You can find colored gems such as these at any craft store.  For full instructions please download the file. Make sure you print the game files in Landscape mode. Enjoy!

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Welcome to Music Teaching Adventures.  My goal is to pass along many of the resources I have created or ideas I have used in lessons.  I hope you find something that is helpful with your own students and enjoy using them.  Over the next few months I hope to continually add more resources so keep checking back!