Today my students will begin having their last lessons before the summer session starts. Many of them will be taking summer lessons but not on a regular schedule. What should parents and teachers expect from students who take lessons during the summer?
If a student is taking infrequent piano lessons in the summer, then my goal is retention of knowledge. Just like with academics, if you don’t use it, you will loose it. All that hard work we put into theory and technique will quietly drift away. As a teacher who as high standards week after week for the literature that the students are learning, I find that summer is a great time to play ‘fun’ music. Now, I find classical music to be fun but my students don’t always agree. So we will be pulling out the pop and show tunes. Recognizable pieces that students enjoy playing so much. The technical skills are the same and we might learn some new interesting rhythms.
I try not to stress out about the lack of practice in the summer. Kids go to camps and travel with their families. When they are home, I encourage them to try to maintain a normal practice schedule. Even if the amount of time is less, I don’t want them to lose the habit of practicing. Parents can help by reminding the students to practice when they are able.
Summer is a nice time for teachers and students to relax and regroup. Review those skills and make sure everything is in order for when piano/music lessons start back in the fall. Festival season will be here before we know it. So help maintain those skills be practicing for you summer lessons when the chance arises.