Piano Parent Reports: What, When, Why and How

Do you wish your students’ parents were more involved in your studio? Piano parent reports might be the answer you’re looking for.

Piano Parent Reports What, When, Why and How2

Piano Parent Reports What, When, Why and How8

Piano parent reports can keep everyone in your studio up-to-date on the progress, expectations and how they can help their children succeed at the piano.

But you have to find the right system and flow for you. Which is what I’m going to help you with today.

Why Do Piano Parent Reports?

Involved Piano Parents

We don’t necessarily see every piano parent in our studio, every week. Even when we do, it might only be for a few seconds.

Yet piano parents are vital to our students’ progress. If they aren’t involved and supporting their child’s practice at home, it will be hard to gain momentum.

momentum

One of the biggest reasons parents are not involved is that they don’t know what’s going on. If we keep them in the loop, they’re much more likely to feel confident helping out and guiding their child.

Pushy No More

Have you ever had a piano parent push you for the next exam/competition/piece…./insertthingchildisnotreadyforhere

What I’ve come to realise over my years of teaching in a highly exam focused country is that what parents really want is to see a measure of progress or success.

This doesn’t need to be an exam.

Exams are just the thing that they know how to ask for.

The same is true of asking for their child to play Für Elise or The Entertainer. They just know that that signifies something, and otherwise, it’s hard for them to tangibly quantify this huge investment of time and money that they’re making.

push

Almost all of this pushiness went away in an instant when I started updating my piano parents more often and making an effort to explain why we were doing this, that and the other.

If you experience pushy parents, you should definitely give piano parent reports a try.

When should you do reports? How often?

The short answer is: as often as you’re comfortable with.

I think there could be a benefit to doing piano parent reports every month. However, that’s a big commitment (depending on the style and depth of the report).

In my studio, I update our reports at the start of the year and then every 10 weeks from there. That’s 5 times per academic year and this feels like a good balance.

calendar

Any longer than 10-12 weeks and I think you’re going to have too much to say. It will be hard to remember and note all of the things that happened over an entire year, for example, and I think it would end up unreadably long.

We don’t want to write an essay.

What should you write in your reports?

Writing out reports for each of your students can be a bit of a daunting task.

So don’t make it more daunting than it needs to be. Keep it informal, keep it light.

These do not need to look like school report cards. In fact, I think it’s much better if they don’t.

The template I’m sharing with you will give you a great starting point as it includes these headings:

  • Goals (primary and secondary)
  • Resources to review
  • Current books
  • Progress updates

Once you have those top sections filled out, filling in the progress updates becomes a lot easier because you can refer back to the goals you set.

Where is your student in relation to these goals? If they’re behind, why do you think that is? What needs to change to move them forward? How can the parent help with this?

How to Do Piano Parent Reports

The simplest way I’ve found to do piano parent reports is using Google Docs. The main benefits of this is that they’re easily shareable and I can update them from wherever I am, on whatever device I want.

(In fact, I use Google Drive in a few different ways in my studio. Find out more about that in this article.)

Download the Google Docs Piano Parent Report Template

This template uses Google Docs so that you can get this set up simply and easily. Just make a copy of the template for each of your students and off you go!

Do you do progress updates in your piano studio?

What system works for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers.

10 thoughts on “Piano Parent Reports: What, When, Why and How”

  1. I love the idea of the progress report – it will address an issue I’ve been struggling with for a while.

    Thanks! 🙂 🙂

    Lola

    Reply
  2. I LOVE your worksheets AND these Progress and Parent Reports! ALL of your things are SO practical and easy to put directly into use. I’m in the States but all your concepts translate perfectly. You promote discipline and great, positive self-esteem in students BUT still encourage FUN and imagination, and that’s a combination that’s not easily found anywhere else. I proudly and loudly recommend your materials and your site to my colleagues, and wish you the GREATEST SUCCESS!!! Thank you so very much for all you do!! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    Playfully Yours,
    Cathy Riso
    Santa Clarita, California

    Reply
  3. Thankyou for all your ideas, worksheets and available ideas. It’s like gold dust!! I like receiving fresh ideas from you and it means I keep things interesting for my learners too. Any suggestions on helping students move forward from separate alternate hands to hands together- reading both lines of music simultaneously?

    Reply
    • Small manageable chunks is the best way forward. If they’re really struggling with it, try some rote work for a while so they can take away the reading aspect and just focus on the coordination.

      Reply
  4. I like the progress report idea. I’ve been meaning to do progress reports for a while now, your template will come in handy.

    Reply

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