Evaluating Your Lessons
From time to time, parents wonder “how are my kids doing with their music lessons?” There is no simple answer to this question; however, there are a few techniques to evaluate their growth to help set attainable goals for their music education.
- Sight reading evaluation: choose a simple piece, or phrase of music from an earlier level of whatever method book you are working from. The student should be able to read at ease. If not, there are a few culprits: incorrect rhythm/beat, not reading overall patterns of notes, not able to read and find note names on the piano. Once the teacher has determined the culprit, they can implement a short term goal to help improve the skill of rhythm/reading coordination.
- Technique: Part of what makes a good musician is not always what they play, but how they play. A student should be able to play scales, chords and arpeggios for their level at ease. From beginning to very advanced, some students will be able to play their 5-finger scales and 2-3 note chords, while other students are able to play one and even 2 octave scales…major, minor, melodic, harmonic. They should be able to incorporate proper piano posture from their sitting position to hand position and fingers. Some students will be able to play dynamics and phrasing effectively as well.
- Learning Curve: All students have their own learning curve. There are some students that have “allergies” to certain reading, rhythm, and techniques and take time to overcome. Some students learn fast initially and then take time to digest the more complex concepts and vice versa.
These quick evaluations can be done by your instructor and can be revisited every few months to check in and ensure the proper progress.
Here is an evaluation form for a more detailed report your instructor can complete: http://musicmattersblog.com/wp-files/Student_Evaluation-MMB.pdf