Another important step for development is modeling good practice during the lesson time. When a student plays something wrong at the lesson it is imperative to correct it, not just circle the problem, but to really work with the student until they can do it correctly 90% of the time. Then to point out that I expect that type of practicing to be done at home. When the student doesn’t have 30-60 minutes each day, taking time to focus on problem areas is much better than playing a piece through 10 times. Check out http://www.practicespot.com/article.phtml?id=105&t=7 to find ways to make repetition fun. As the lesson is concluding, it’s also helpful to do a quick review asking the student how they are going to practice and what is going to be there focus when they are at home. This helps keep the at-home practice productive and fruitful without needing hours of time.
Sometimes it seems as if students play the same songs for a long time and they always sounds the same, when in reality most weeks the pieces are progressing to a more polished form. It’s hard for students to know what’s changed from week to week. Sometimes it’s helpful to record a student playing a song the first week and again every week or so then they can hear the changes themselves. I’ve also taken the last lesson of the school year to review what that student has learned this year or in the past years. Reviewing old materials in progression, this gives the student a chance to hear and see how much growing musically they have done over the course of there study. Putting this in front of them can be encouraging and motivating as they get a sense of accomplishment
Piano can so often become a chore that students don’t always have the motivation to keep up with their peers. As a private teacher I aim to help my students find one or more partners to draw energy from. Group lessons are good for that especially when everyone has to come prepared to play a song for the group they didn’t play the last time. Duets, trios, ensembles, as well as accompanying other instruments can also help motivate.