Take a deep breath or a sigh of relief, and let it all out. Yes, I have made it through the first week of lessons this term. I typically find that the first week of the term is even harder for me than the last. I've spent hours upon hours prepping and planning, and then it's time to put it all to the test! I spend a good portion of each lesson introducing the term practice incentive, handing out additional worksheets, and orienting my students toward the term goals.
After a brief break, it always takes me a week or two to get back into the swing of the weekly lesson routine. And it seems that it usually takes the students a week or two to get back into a regular practice routine as well. It's always amazing to me just how detrimental even one week off can be to a student whose practice habits and progress have been shaky over the previous term.
I also find myself expending about twice as much teaching energy the first week back. Why? Because I'm trying to start the term out on a positive, enthusiastic note. I go all out trying to spread a contagious enthusiasm to my whole studio, and the end of the week usually leaves me feeling pretty exhausted!
I do want to share a bit more about this term's practice incentive (which I think has been a HUGE hit with my students this week) and several of the other ideas I'm using in my studio this spring, but that's a project for another day. Tonight I just want to sit back and reflect on the week.
It's been a good week, with it's ups and downs. Some students disappointed me with their lack of practice and discipline over break, and I could tell they hadn't touched their music or even thought about piano once. But others surprised me completely! I had several students show up for lessons who had worked above and beyond what I had required at the last lesson. Some students surprised me with memorized pieces.
Through the week I found myself freshly inspired for the coming term with ideas and concepts on how to motivate my students. So, while it wasn't an exceptional week, I find myself satisfied with my personal accomplishments as well as those of my students. Here's to a successful Spring 2011 Term at Discoveries Piano Studio!