Piano Teaching Tips For Highly Motivated Music Teachers

Are you a music teacher who intends to improve himself and gain professional growth? Well, read on as this blog aims to cite and identify some relevant and effective piano teaching tips – applicable to all music teachers out there.

Music education as well as learning various musical instruments has become more and more interesting, competitive and in-demand. Aside from arts, science and technology, music generally has turned out to be both the passion and the profession of most music teachers, musicians and music educators. With this, music teachers around the globe are motivated and inspired to learn new tricks, strategies and techniques more than to what they are used to. Here are some of the useful piano teaching tips that can make you both effective and efficient:

Time and stress management. Music teaching as well as teaching any other subjects requires time, effort and other resources. When you leave your classroom or private music studio, your work doesn’t stop. Sometimes you bring your work along with you at home – accomplishing unfinished businesses, unchecked and unrecorded activities, worksheets and quizzes. With these tedious tasks, you need to learn how to manage your time and organize your workloads. Proper time management draws you closer to a more successful and happy teacher life; thus, eliminating risks and chances of getting stressed out.

Continuous learning. Music teachers enhance their skills and achieve professional growth through various workshops, seminars and conferences. These series of training sessions help them in building enough self-confidence and self-esteem in teaching individuals from different ages with different lifestyles. With the kind of professional development they have, they have become fully-equipped with the right skills, knowledge and expertise. Also, they tend to update themselves with the latest piano teaching tips as well as the newest and most effective music teaching strategies.

Professionalism. This term has a wide array of meanings and significance. From one level to another, this needs continuous learning, dedication and passion. This also refers to good and reliable customer service, work ethics, and business integrity that are often grouped together and mixed up in other people’s minds as one big concept. Others see this as one’s personal commitment to anything that he does, thinks, says and feels

It is true that music teaching is one big responsibility and noble profession; thus, it requires much time, effort and resources. To be tagged as a professional, music teachers must learn how to handle different kinds of learners, situations and circumstances with all composure, character and fairness.

Consequently, music and piano teachers must willingly improve themselves for more effective comprehensive, innovative and interactive teaching strategies and techniques – making their students appreciate and love both learning music and music as a whole. As music educators, remember that you can inspire your students in many ways and touch their lives as well – more than just motivating and encouraging them to learn.

The above piano teaching tips allow many music teachers around the globe consider themselves professionals and have become worthy of respect, trust and appreciation at all times. So make yourselves equipped with the right weapons to make your students and parents realize that teaching is both your profession and passion – teaching music by heart.

Tips to Teach Your Children to Save Water

Water is a necessity for survival.

Considering the rapidly growing population and the fact that water is a limited resource on this planet, it has become more important than ever that children understand the significance of water conservation from an early age.

Teaching children to save water at a young age will not only help you save on your utility bills but it will also foster an interest and concern in your children towards the planet.

That said, here are some tips to teach and practise water conservation at home with your children.

Get kids acquainted with interesting facts about water

Water conservation is a serious concern, but that doesn’t mean teaching children to save water can’t be fun.

There is a wide range of interesting facts about water you can tell your child, to emphasise on the necessity of water, such as:

• Water makes up to 70% of the earth’s surface. 90% of it is salt water, which is found in oceans and is not suitable for drinking.

• Only 2.5% of earth’s water is fresh water and 70% of the earth’s fresh water is frozen in glaciers and ice caps.

• The total amount of water on earth is the same amount as it was when earth was created, millions of years ago.

• 70% of human brain is composed of water and the average adult body is about 60% water.

• Water is available in three forms on this planet: solid, liquid and gas.

These were just a few facts and you can discover more such information about water on the web. Children are more likely to remember what they have been taught when they learn it through small pointers and factoids instead of long boring sessions.

Moving on to “dos” & “don’ts”

Education begins at home. Before your child gets to the chapter in their textbook that talks about water conversation at school, you can inculcate water-saving habits in your child by teaching them the following dos and don’ts;

• Do turn off the faucets tightly.

• Don’t leave the tap running while brushing or washing hands.

• Do take a shower instead of a bath as it uses less water. If you must take a bath, fill the tub with just enough water to cover the knees and not more than that.

• Don’t throw tissues, paper or candy wrappers in the toilet as it will use more water to flush those materials off.

• Do let parents know if you spot a leaky faucet, bathtub, water cooler or any other appliance that uses water.

• Do use water from leftover bottles, ice cubes, bathroom buckets and half-drank glasses, to hydrate the grass and plants.

• When not using sprinklers, do move the hoses to the grassy areas.

• When unable to finish the whole glass of water, save the remaining water in the refrigerator instead of pouring down the sink.

• Do use a mug and bucket of water to clean your bicycle instead of a hose.

Additional tips to encourage water conservation in children

• Whenever your child takes a water-saving action, reward them to make them feel positive about their deed and encourage them to keep doing it.

• Earth day and water day are great opportunities to teach your little ones to care for their planet and the importance of preserving the earth’s resources. So, keep an eye out for events being organised in your local region on these days and get your child involve in the celebrations.

• Suggest teachers and school’s management to organise educational camps and programs to teach children about water conservation.

• Encourage your tech-savvy children to look up for videos, tips and resources related to water conservation online. By allowing your children to search for water saving tips on the internet on their own, you will provide them a fun way to learn about importance of saving water.

• Involve children in your water management routine and practises like when you are searching for water leaks around your house, ask your children to join in and help you spot leaky areas.

Children are never too young to learn about the importance of water as a natural resource that humans need for survival. With these tips and practises, you will not only teach your child to use water wisely and prevent waste but also build a foundation of love and care for their planet.

Teacher Tips: Dealing With Impulsive Behaviors From ADHD Students in the Classroom

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at http://www.ADDinSchool.com. Here are some tips on Dealing with Impulsive Behaviors: One of the hallmarks of children with attention deficits is the tendency to act impulsively (acting before thinking through the ramifications of behavior). Behaviorally, this manifests itself in a lack of understanding of cause and effect. Research also suggests that these students can often verbalize the rules in place for behavior but have difficulty internalizing them and translating them into thoughtful behavior. Difficulties in delaying gratification also add to the impulsivity. Some clinicians believe that this behavioral disinhibition (poor regulation and inhibition of behavior), rather than their ability to pay attention, is the primary manifestation of attention deficits and is more likely to discriminate these children from others.

By having students think “out loud” when they are problem-solving, the teacher will gain insights into their reasoning style and the process will slow them down before they respond impulsively. This will provide information about how they “see the world” and enable the teacher to begin to restructure inaccurate perceptions. Train your student’s teachers and other adults how to do this to provide an on-going technique in the classroom setting, where critical incidents often occur. Quite often, students will continue to have difficulty with certain types of interactions on a regular basis; difficulty in taking turns, over-interpreting others’ remarks as hostile, personalizing others’ actions excessively, and misreading social cues. With the help of your student, his teacher, and his trusted peers, common problematic themes can be identified. Role play hypothetical interactions involving these behaviors, preferably with supportive peers, identifying and practicing positive alternative responses.

Have your student practice these responses during the school day and have him and others give you feedback on their success. Identifying critical incidents that occur during the day will provide insights for program planning. The technique of “Stop-Think-Talk-Do” is central to many cognitive-behavioral interventions for students with attentional teaches the student how to “stop” before acting impulsively, “think” about the cause and effect relationships of his intended behavior, “say” or verbalize to themselves or others what they will do, and “do” the chosen behavior. Again, the purpose of the technique is to slow down response. Encourage thoughtful responding and decrease impulsivity by waiting 10 to 15 seconds to receive responses during whole group instruction. Keep the classroom behavior rules simple and clear. Have the class agree on what the rules should be. Define and review classroom rules each day. Implement a classroom behavior management system. Actively reinforce desired classroom behaviors. Use self-monitoring and self-reinforcement on-task behavior during independent work time. Use a kitchen timer to indicate periods of intense independent word and reinforce the class for appropriate behavior during this period. Start with brief periods (5 to 10 minutes) and gradually increase the period as the class demonstrates success. When necessary, develop contracts with an individual student and her/his parents to reinforce a few specific behaviors. Set hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly goals depending on the reinforcement needs of the specific student. Provide frequent feedback on the student’s progress toward these goals. Provide a changing array of backup rewards or privileges so that students do not “burn out” on a particular system. For example, students can earn tickets for a daily or weekly raffle for the display of positive behavior.

To improve out of the classroom behavior, allow the class to earn a reward based on he compliments they receive on their behavior from other teachers, lunchroom staff, playground aides and principals. Avoid giving the whole class negative consequences based on the ADHD child’s behavior. The ADHD child, as well as the whole class, can benefit from implementation of social skills curriculum for the entire class. Modeling and requiring the children to use a systematic method of talking through classroom conflicts and problems can be particularly valuable for the ADHD child to implement this, teachers are referred to the literature on cognitive-behavioral approaches to developing the child’s self-talk and problem solving. Praise specific behaviors. For example, “I like how you wrote down all your assignments correctly,” rather than “Good boy!” Use visual and auditory cues as behavioral reminders. For example, have two large jars at the front of the room, with one filled with marbles or some other object. When the class is behaving appropriately, move some marbles to the other jar and let the students know that when the empty jar is filled they can earn a reward. Frequently move about the room so that you can maximize you degree of proximity control. When appropriate, give students choices about several different activities that could choose to work on one at a time. With students who can be quite volatile and may initially refuse negative consequences (such as refusing to go to time-out), set a kitchen timer for a brief period (1 to 2 minutes) after refusal has occurred. Explain to the child that the child can use the two minutes to decide if she/he will go to time out on her/his own or if more serious consequence must be imposed. Several experienced teachers insist this method has successfully reduced the extent to which they have had to physically enforce certain negative consequences with students and seems to de-escalate the situation. Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

New Teachers – Lecture Tips That Will Keep Students Interested

You’ve all seen the Charlie Brown episode where the teacher is lecturing and all the students hear is “wa wa wa wa wa wa.” We remember watching that as kids. Unfortunately, seeing this as kids taught us that this was what school was like. Now, as we are adult teachers, we are constantly afraid of becoming the teacher from Charlie Brown. Well, what if we could avoid this? What if we could use this knowledge to create inspiring and organized lectures using Best Practices? I have developed 6 tips for you to help you in creating fun and memorable lectures that will leave your students with long lasting knowledge.

1. Create an objective. We have heard this before from our administrators. Often times we hear this when the administrators come to observe us in the classroom. Write your objective on the board! Say it at the beginning of class! Say it at the end of class! Well, they’re right! By telling the students what they are to be learning and why they are learning, they are more apt to pay attention and way more apt to remember what you’re talking about. It will also help them when coming up with what they should actually be writing down.

2. Have your students do something productive. Your students should not be just sitting there. If you are engaged in best practices, your students should be doing something active with their learning while they are listening to your lecture. More often than not, this means that they will need to be taking notes. But give them structure. Maybe this meaning Cornell notes or maybe it’s powernotes. It’s your call!

3. Break it up. Break your lecture up into different segments. I would say no more than 4 or 5. This way, those who have difficulties processing long bits of information will be able to compartmentalize what you are telling them easier.

4. Separate the sections with different activities. Throughout your lecture, break up your talking by having the students do different activities. For example, have students turn to a near by partner and repeat the top 5 parts of the lecture they have heard so far. Doing this will help them to remember because they are actively participating.

5. Have them repeat through questioning. As you lecture, don’t just talk. Question your students. Question them on different background knowledge that they will know information about. Tapping into this will help them to succeed in acquiring new knowledge.

6. Wrap it up effectively. At the end of your lecture have your students do something with the information. Perhaps its a quick little quiz on the board. Perhaps they will write a paragraph summary.

Whatever you lecture about, make sure to follow these 6 tips to have your students remain actively engaged. This will increase their knowledge and participation. No Charlie Brown Effect here!

New Teacher Tips – How to Use Correct Classroom Color Choices

In fashion, some colors are always in style. Other colors come and go. The color of a classroom can greatly affect students and how well they absorb material or, to put it in a nutshell – their learning. Past and ongoing research corroborates the fact that certain lighter colors are more preferable than particular darker colors.

Sinofsky and Knirck (1981) found that color affect student attitudes, behaviors and learning. Among their previous research, they include reasons for using brighter colors which can affect a student’s attention span and the student’s and teacher’s sense of time.

Use Light Green Colors as opposed to Bolder Ones

In nature, green reappears in spring, after a dull and colorless winter. But during the dormant winter months in the classroom, a light shade of warm teal green is reenergizing and acts as a gentle reminder of spring to come, making the middle semester (the coldest one) more bearable, interesting and creates a calm learning atmosphere. It can also filter negativity, put the students and teachers at ease and into a positive state of mind.

Another Effective Light Color – Blue

Blue is the color of water and the sea and it represents life. For this reason, lighter shades of blue help calm students especially those with ADHD and ADD. It can also reduce the number of behavior outbursts and discipline problems facilitating perhaps with classroom management on a creative level.

In the Western culture, blue symbolizes loyalty and authority while it also symbolizes strength and power in the Eastern culture. These are qualities which students want to feel the teachers have on a global level.

Other classroom research findings:

  1. Bross and Jackson (1981) declared that colors liked by students influenced their muscular tension and motor control (Poyser, 1983)
  2. Colors can also affect memory and the brain’s capacity to retain more information.
  3. Wohlfarth (1986) and Sydoriak (1987) associated warm colors with slight elevations in blood pressure in children while cooler colors caused slight drops in blood pressure (Hathaway, 1988).

Over to You – Making Correct Classroom Color Choices

Take inventory of your students at the beginning of the year. It would make sense to gather as much information as you can about your students, making notes on the behaviorial limitations, special learning needs and other learning styles. in light of this, see if you can paint the classroom a lighter shade of green and blue. Compare the differences in the students learning. How have they changed?

Works Cited

Hathaway, W.E. (1988). Educational facilities: Neutral with respect to learning and human performance. CEFPI Journal, 26(4), 8-12.

Poyser, L.R. (1983). An examination of the classroom physical environment. South Bend: Indiana University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED251954).

Sinofsky, E.R. & Knirck, F.G. (1981). Choose the right color for your learning style. Instructional Innovator, 26(3), 17-19.