It's May, piano teachers. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Your piano students (of the elementary school variety) are smelling summer in the air. They know, just know, that freedom from their classroom is right around the corner.
And that may or may not affect your piano lessons.
Actually, I'm lying. That will TOTALLY affect your piano lessons.
The thing is, your younger students, they are just sick of learning, period. They have had an entire school year of this and that, and they are just plain done. It happens to the best of kids and it leaks into your piano studio.
Because, I'm sorry to say, they kinda look at their piano lesson like it is an extension of school. I know this for a fact, because, well, I was a piano student once and all my piano students now do this too.
So, you might experience a few eye rolls here and there. Or maybe the kid who always has his theory homework done, shows up with none of it finished and (gasp!) he doesn't care.
Don't take it personally. Its just May Mayhem. (By the way, you do see that the word "May" is in "Mayhem", right? Just sayin'.)
Instead, think through how you could possibly push your student's vision past the end of the school year and get them excited about piano in the summer. Impossible? Not at all.
How on earth do we get our students excited about piano in the summer?
(Cue drum roll)
Enter the summer theme.
Try this. Do a summer theme in your studio. This year, I am doing one that involves movie music and all sorts of fun stuff related to that. We are still going to be pushing hard through scales and theory, but we will back off just a bit in their method books. And then add a bit of our fun summer theme.
Today, I had the opportunity to enjoy one elementary student after another, all of whom had a serious case of May Mayhem. But, when I talked about this summer -- when I talked about how, come June, we were going to do this really cool thing -- their eyes lit up!
Why? Because they were no longer focused on "when is this finished?" (as in school) and instead were focused on "when does this start?" (as in the summer studio theme).
So, be patient, dear piano teacher, as you walk through May Mayhem with your kiddos. Give them something to look forward to -- they will make it through and so will you.