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Curriculum

Your personal piano teaching curriculum isn’t something you’ll land on overnight. This is something you’ll end up developing and tweaking year after year. What better time to start than right now?

Big to Small

Your curriculum is the big-picture view of what you want to accomplish for your students. It shouldn’t go into the nitty gritty details, but should instead focus on the broad goals consistent across all your students. 

The clearer this zoomed-out view becomes, the easier it will be to dive into the details of lesson planning and individualised instruction. 

Following a Proven Path

There’s no reason for you to create your curriculum entirely from scratch (phew!) when there are so many resources out there you can borrow from.  

Method Books

Method books are a great starting point when drafting your curriculum for beginning years. Hopefully you’ve started looking into different method books and analysing their contents and sequencing. Once you have a method book you like – not one you love or are committed to…just one you like – you can use this as sort of a template for your own curriculum. 

Not everything will be included in a method book, of course. But making a list of the key concepts taught in each unit will make a great wire-frame which you can hang the other elements off of. 

Exams 

Like method books, exam syllabi can also provide a scaffolding for creating your own curriculum. Whether or not your students are sitting exams regularly, you should still be including other content outside of what’s on the syllabus in your student’s lessons. Laying out a studio curriculum will help you make that distinction between what’s required simply because the exam board says so, and what you value as a teacher.

But-the-Pieces Plans

You’ll find many “but-the-pieces” plans in the VMT Video Library. This type of course is designed to help you organise the teaching things which aren’t normally included in method books or levelled repertoire collections. These can also be useful in developing your own curriculum which isn’t strictly based around developing reading skills.

Cultivating Your Own Curriculum

As you get started teaching a new student, I would recommend you do 3 things which will help you build your own curriculum and teaching philosophies:

  1. Use a method book.
  2. Use either Piano Powerbooster One (students aged 8+) or Tiny Finger Takeoff (aged 7 and under) alongside the method book.
  3. Keep notes as you move through both resources about the order concepts are presented and things you would change or adjust.

If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating your own curriculum. There’s nothing wrong with following the paths of others and branching out gently and gradually over time.

More to Explore

Lesson Content