Do you ever struggle to capture piano student attention? Do students sometimes ask you how long is left, or do you find yourself getting less done in each lesson than you think you should?
Visual piano lesson plans could be the answer.
The benefit of having a visual piano lesson plan is that students know where they are in the lesson structure. Part of the reason piano student attention wanes sometimes is just that they can’t follow a plan they don’t know about.
Telling them how the lesson will be sequenced is one thing, but it’s another entirely for them to be able to see it for themselves.
I’ve used this idea of a visual lesson plan before here with a student who had ADD. But I think this type of clear lesson structure can benefit many students and this year I decided to try it out with everyone using pictures so that even my littlest students can follow the plan.
This experiment has been a big success! We’ve loved using these since we came back from summer break and I think they’re here to stay. 🙂
How I Use These in My Studio
I printed out these cards, laminated them and put magnetic tape on the back so that I can use them on my magnetic whiteboard. You might prefer to use velcro or pins depending on how you want to display these in your studio.
At the start of each lesson, I let my students guess what the activities and the order is going to be as I set them up. Then every time we’re switching activities I ask what’s up next so we’re all on the same page.
This also helps students to see where they are in the lesson time. Kids can’t judge time like us adults can, so it’s good for them to see how far they are through the lesson.
A simple solo lesson structure might look something like this:
And here’s a longer shared lesson plan:
The piano/theory magnets are what I use when one student will be working with me while the other does independent music theory work on the iPad or in their workbook.
Another great way to use these cards would be to put out the ones you want to cover and have your student set the order. This gives your student a sense of ownership of the plan and can really help those who have trouble staying on task.
Download the Visual Piano Lesson Plan Cards
Click here to download a set of 4 visual piano lesson cards that you can use with your students.
The complete set is available to Vibrant Music Teaching members now here.
How do you keep piano student attention?
Have you ever tried having a visual piano lesson plan like this on display? How can you see yourself using these cards in your studio?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
7 thoughts on “How Visual Piano Lesson Plans Can Improve Piano Student Attention”
Sounds like worth a try, especially if it might help keep an ADD student more focused.
Yes, it can be useful for ADD but also just useful for all human people. Big or small, neuro-typical or not. 😉
This is brilliant. I’ve done something like this with an ADHD student after listening to an interview Leila Viss conducted with another teacher. If we made it through everything on the agenda, the student got to choose a game to play at the end of the lesson. I had never considered using it with all of my students. It would definitely keep the itty bitties more focused!
I like the idea of the reusable laminated cards. I wrote mine out by hand on an index card. Of course, I have a printed lesson plan for myself to reference, but that’s not useful for the student. Pre-printed, laminated cards would definitely save me time!
Awesome! Let me know if you try them! 😀
Wait — when do they work on their repertoire?!
When it says playing or reading.
Thank you for the freebie cards! I look forward to implementing in future lessons.