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Preparing the First Lesson

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

The first lesson with the student is very crucial. It is the time to show the best of your lessons and to convince the student that they should become a member of the studio. The lesson is also a time to evaluate the student to see if they are a good fit for the studio. This blog post reveals a few tips for having a successful trial lesson and to get more students signing up for lessons.

1) About the Studio

What's your studio like? Show the potential student around the room and what's best about your studio. I created a photo book featuring photos from past recitals, performances, competitions, and awards students have earned. The parents and siblings get to look through all of the students who are happy to be in your studio.

2) Improvisation

What's easier to play than being able to make up your own music? A few improvisation exercises to play as a duet or student solo is always a fun addition to the lesson. Tim Topham's No Book Beginners features improvisation for both teacher duets and student solos. You can also try any music from Inspiration which is a book on only improvisation.

3) Practice Song

Try an easy piece that can be taught by rote in about 5 minutes. Sunrise from the Piano Language Repertoire book would be a perfect example because it has simple rhythms and a pattern that many students can pick up quickly. Once the student plays along with the teacher duet part, they will be motivated to start lessons!

4) Games

Playing a simple game that teaches a concept learned will be the perfect ending to the lesson. The game can involve the concepts of the groups of two and three black keys, finger numbers, or letters on the keys, etc. You can try out our "Black Key Bingo" here by joining as a free member. If your student already has some background information about music, you can play games to review music concepts.

5) Basics of Music

During the lesson, our studio teaches the very basics of piano during the first lesson. We teach how to check your distance, hand position, and the groups of two and three black keys.

6) Transfer Students

What do you do when your student has transferred from another teacher? Ask them to bring their old piano books with them and during the lesson have them play the music they have already learned. Tell them that they don't have to be nervous and that you are just there to see what they already know.


Share your first lesson ideas in our music teaching Facebook group! By joining our group, you also get first access to our blog posts, freebies, and discounts.

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