When I decided to start teaching piano again, I wanted to have a strategy in place to help with lesson preparation. I didn’t want to just “wing it” (aka: turn the next page in the book and see what to assign for the next week).
I sat down and went through the books and made lesson plans for the entire semester.
Yay, score for me.
All right, confession time…I don’t like to hand write. I would rather type any day.
I used to write all the assignments in a spiral notebook, but that took up a lot of time during the lesson, plus…hand writing.
So I searched the internet looking for templates, found some that I liked, mashed the ideas together and came up with my own assignment sheet.
I used Microsoft Excel to create the form, but you could use Word if you wanted to.
Here are the important components on the assignment sheet:
1. Student information – name, level, date, week and lesson time
2. Easy-to-see blocks to enter daily practice time – I made these big enough to they wouldn’t be missed or forgotten
3. Assignment checklist – here I list all of the books, worksheets, warm-ups, etc. that they need to do each day. I also have the days of the week listed beside each item on the checklist. They are to circle the day that they do each assignment (helping them to remember that they did everything on the list).
4. Comments – I can put any reminders here, including practice steps, important dates, etc.
5. Teacher information – (not on the example); I put my phone number and email on each assignment sheet. I tell my students to call, text or email during the week if they have any questions. I would rather help them during the week instead of waiting till the next lesson to fix a problem or clear up confusion.
I have the assignment sheets already filled out before the lessons. This saves time and keeps me on track. (You can see a PDF of the Assignment Sheet here.)
You can see that the left margin is larger. This is because I three-hole punch the sheet and put it in a 3-ring binder for the student. They bring their binder to each lesson and get a new assignment sheet each week.
How do you give out assignments in lessons? Do you use a form or handout? I would love to hear your feedback.
This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!
I used to print out things like that and put them in a special binder for each student, and then one day I realized that a cheap, spiral bound notebook works just as well and I can tailor it to say exactly what I want it to for that lesson. Sometimes I have high hopes for a lesson, and then a student really needs to just work on one song and concept before we move on to anything else new, so I don’t know if I would like being blocked in by having it filled out already.