What About the “Slow” Student?

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 in Classroom management, Logistics

May 20 Card 320

Many teachers interested in teaching piano to a group of students worry about all students progressing at the same tempo. Do elementary classroom teachers worry about this? Are ballet teachers concerned about their dancers progressing at the same rate? Have you noticed how some parents talk about group piano lessons as having nothing in common with the classroom experience in school?

We could discuss this for hours.  But we won’t.  Let’s keep it simple and to the point.

Follow any of these suggestions if a student is falling behind.

  1. Talk to the parent and let them him/her know your concern.  Don’t wait for the parent to come to you.  Contact the parent and offer a solution.
  2. Talk to the parent weekly about practice at home. Is it getting done? Is there an adult practicing with the student? Does the parent know what is expected to happen at home each week?
  3. Keep the student in the class but offer a few weeks of extra tutoring for free (10 minutes for 2 or 3 weeks) at your convenience. I’ve only done this once or twice and it was painless…
  4. Move the student to a different class that is progressing at a slower pace. WARNING: all parties must be in agreement in order to keep relationships happy.
  5. Enroll student in private lessons – without a change in price – for the remainder of the semester.  Make sure that the parent understands the price difference, if you have one, and set whatever parameters you need to make this a successful change.
  6. Now it’s your turn.  What would you do with a “slower” student in your group piano class? I would love to know!

Leave a Reply