Lesson Focus Aid – Keeping active minds on track

Today I’m sharing a little tool that has made my lessons with wriggly students and students with special needs SO much easier!

Piano lesson focus tool

Lesson focus aidThis simple ‘Lesson Focus Aid‘ is very straight forward. I just listed what needs to get done during the lesson, keeping it as general as I could.

I laminated the aid and glued to a folded piece of card so I could slot it under the piano lid. This position makes it clearly visible to both me and the student, it’s very important that the student can see it throughout the lesson.

As we move through the lesson, I cross off each goal. If we finish our list and have time left over, my student can pick their choice of fun activity.

The most popular choice in my studio is Piano Maestro, but you could use games, improvisation or composing; just make sure to choose something your student absolutely loves.

One of my students who has ADD has done so much better since we started using this aid a couple of months ago. He commented that the lesson seemed to go by so much faster when he could see the plan.

In the past I used the ‘Wriggly Assignment Sheet‘ with him, which was good, but since it was on my writing desk he couldn’t see where we had got to. We now consistently get through the complete list, and often have time left over for one or two songs in Piano Maestro.

You can download the Lesson Focus Aid here and print it for using with your own students. Make sure to either laminate it or cover with a page protecter so that you can cross off items with a whiteboard marker.

If you want to change goals from week to week, a good alternative might be a small whiteboard where you write tasks each week. I like the fact that this doesn’t take me any set-up time though, I just keep it in my students folder and put it up when he arrives.

Psst…Interval Wizard Sightreading Cards are another great addition for students with special needs or learning difficulties. Splitting reading up into gradually progressing levels can be just the structure needed when students are struggling with the staff.

Do you have students that have trouble focussing?

What do you do to keep them on track? Do you think a tool like this would work for your students?

7 thoughts on “Lesson Focus Aid – Keeping active minds on track”

  1. I’ve been using something similar for a long time. I have pictures of each activity – scales, theory, singing, piano pieces, clapping rhythms, game (my choice) and the kids love to mark them off as they’re completed. I have the laminated sheet on my whiteboard next to the piano (attached with little magnets).

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