The assignment sheets for piano lessons plays a vital role in helping the student stay on top of their practice. Well, that is if the student looks at the assignment sheet. First as a student and now as a teacher, I have seen many different methods used successfully.
The most basic method is to write the date at the top of the pages that are assigned. Now this works well if the student is completing their pieces every week and if they remember what the date of their lesson was. Overall, I find that this method leaves alot to be desired.
A slightly more advanced way is to use a small notebook and just to write Lesson, Theory, Performance, Practice and notate the page numbers out to the side. This gives the student a check list to work off of. There also isn’t very much room for additional notes and writing.
The past few years, I have been giving my students spiral notebooks with college rule paper. Now this method definately worked well for me. There was lots of room to write extra notes and to keep a practice record. I did find that one of the drawbacks was that I didn’t always write the assignments in the same order. If the theory somehow got added at the end of the page instead of after technique, it almost always was forgotten. This was a good method and didn’t create any extra work for me as a teacher, but I felt that I could be more organized.
This year all of my students have been given a 3-ring binder. When the student opens the binder the first thing they see is that week’s assignment sheet. Every week I print out each day’s sheets with the correct date and the updated music history and listening assignments. Below you can look at an example of this sheet:
This form seems to be working really well. All the assignments are in the same place and there is plenty of room left for extra notes and reminders. Also, I love to give handouts that are helpful to the students. Some weeks it is supplemental theory sheets and others it can be music history information. By having a 3-ring binder handy, those papers don’t end up crumpled in the bottom of the student’s music bag. It is also a nice place to keep sheet music so that it doesn’t get wrinkled.
Over all I am very happy with the new assignment sheets and the 3 ring binder method.