Top 10 sure signs a student has not practiced this week.
#1 Sure Sign - The student starts the lesson by saying "I haven't had chance to practice this week".
- The parent asks how the student has done in their lesson this week with a very concerned expression.
- The student cant remember what pieces of music they were assigned this week and cant find them in their tutor books.
- The student does not know where to put their hands on the piano before starting to play the piece of music.
- The student does not know what the first note in the piece of music is.
- There has been no improvement in the standard of a piece of music all week but within 2 minutes of playing it in the lesson the piece is perfected and finished.
- The student "forgets" to bring their books to the lesson. (This is very common when teaching piano in schools. Fortunately I always had copies).
- The student acts surprised when missing something in the music that was really obvious, like they only just realized it was there. (The kind of thing that you would be guaranteed to see the first time you ever played the music because it was so obvious).
- The same mistakes we worked on last week in a particular passage of music are still wrong.
- Even though the student says they have practiced you know from experience that this student could easily sight read this particular piece of music much better than it is currently being performed.
- Bonus reason. Theory homework has not been completed. This often does not mean the student has not practiced but it is usually a good indication of the amount of effort they have put into their work this week.
Bonus reason for teachers that teach students in their own homes - The tutor books are neatly stacked in exactly the same position as they were left at the end of the last lesson!
If you know of any sure-fire signs that a student hasn't practiced please send me your thoughts and I will be happy to include them in this list.