Add Off Bench Time to Your Lesson

Learn all about how I incorporate technology to enhance piano lessons. I wrote a series of articles for Wendy Stevens of ComposeCreate.com that provides tons of info to help you get started. I’ve strayed from calling the time my students spend drilling concepts with technology “lab time” and now call it “off bench” time. The message is still the same, just slightly different lingo.

“The series will attempt to answer questions of those who have never considered this format before. The articles will also include ideas for those who already successfully use technology to enhance daily teaching. Questions, comments and suggestions in the comments section are greatly appreciated!

“Why NOT Add Off Bench time to Your Lesson?” 

Fact: Our studios are filled with Millennials–the generation known for their social networking, a cell phone nearby at all times, body piercing, tattoos, global awareness, fascination with video games and comfort with modern technology. (See the American Music Teacher Magazine’s Feb/Mar 2012 issue for an informative article by Courtney Crappell discussing these unique characteristics.)

Fact: Many schools have or will have iPads assigned to each student to use on a regular basis besides an ample supply of computers, online textbooks, etc.

Fact: Technology continues to drive the direction of our society and learning styles. It is here to stay, Why NOT embrace it in your daily teaching?

What IS a “Off Bench” time?

When working towards my Masters Degree 20 years ago, I visited many successful piano studios of local teachers. The studio that intrigued me the most was one that scheduled lessons at the piano along with tutorial lessons on the computer. When setting up my first in-home studio, I eagerly borrowed this lesson and lab format.

Clarification: I do NOT have a large classroom with many keyboards and computers. I teach two students at a time, one is with me at the piano, one is working on a “lab” assignment at the computer in the same room….

Read more here.

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