It's that time of year again, y'all.....back to school!
Growing up, my favorite time of year was always back to school shopping. To me, it just doesn't get much better than a beautiful new binder with well-labeled tabs, the crisp pages of a brand new notebook, and a new pack of .05 Pilot pens. 😍 Be still, my heart! (#nerdalert)
This year, I am SO excited that I will officially be a full-time flute instructor at a middle school and two high schools here in Austin! I am so thankful to live in a state that values their band programs so highly. Did you know that in Texas, every single middle and high school employs a private music lessons instructor for every instrument?! How cool is that?! (Are you starting to put two and two together about why I moved here, now? 😏)
In preparation for this, I have been busy creating as many fun materials as I can dream up for my students! Today I will be sharing the lesson notes log and practice logs that I created. I hope that you will love these materials as much as I do!
If you use either of these for yourself or for your students, please tag me in your Instagram posts, I would LOVE to see them in action!
Each of these documents has 2 pages so it can be printed double sided.
The lesson notes are one of the handouts I include in the flute notebooks I give to each one of my students. I have found that when I write down exactly what needs to be done at home, practicing is much more likely to occur (imagine that 😏).
Each week, I fill in a new section stating exactly what their assignments are for that week. I also always try to give each student a specific FOCUS or GOAL every week, which I included a space for as well!
I do assign listening pretty frequently, so it was important to me to have space dedicated for this, too. Listening is generally either the etude or piece we are working on or a piece that is in the same era we are currently learning about. I also utilize listening to analyze specific aspects of flute playing. For example if we are trying to develop a student's unique sound, I will assign them a list of various flute players to listen to. I will ask the student to pay attention to things like is the sound brighter or darker? Is it full? Soft? Flexible? Does it have more upper overtones? Other aspects we analyze include watching videos to watch for movements, posture, listening for vibrato variation (or lack thereof)... the list goes on!
The box on the left side of each section labeled "New Notes" is where I use a flute fingering stamp to show the fingerings for any new notes we learned during the lesson (I'm looking at you, high register). This has been incredibly helpful for me because usually learning new fingerings goes something like this: Put new fingering somewhere in music near said note, next lesson student has forgotten new fingering, rifling though papers ensues trying to find the page that has said fingering written....not a good time for anyone. This handy little box solves all of my problems, and makes sure the new fingering stays easily visible and prominent! Win win, my friends.
A LOT of thought and effort went into this guy! I wanted to set it up to be a foolproof way to practice efficiently. I structured the practice session materials order as Sound, Technique, Etude, then Music. I left scales in a box to the side to allow freedom to incorporate scales at whatever part of the practice session feels the best. I also included a FOCUS below each line. I have found that when a student actively selects a specific aspect to focus on (like sound, vibrato, dynamics, etc.), it helps cut out any mindless, repetitive practice. We are all about efficiency, my friends!
On the right side is a space to list what practice techniques were used. This can be utilized for what was used for each individual exercise or just during the practice session in general.
I am currently working on a handout of practice techniques that I utilize myself and with my students, but I figured having a comprehensive printout that actually describes each technique, what it works well for, and how to do it will be a lot easier for at-home practice since I won't be there to say things like, "Now remember to start SLOWLY!" and "Break it down into this chunk first!"
And finally, my favorite reminder at the bottom of each day: Did you record today? 😉
And that's all, folks!
If you do use these for yourself or for your students, please tag me in your photos on Instagram, I would LOVE to see how you use them!