Private Lesson Success Tips

As a teacher, are you frustrated that your students don’t remember what you work on from week to week or are forgetting choreography from lesson to lesson? Private lessons are a great way to help students progress in skills, technique, performance qualities, as well as for solos, duet, and trios.

I have noticed over the last few years that students are not retaining what they are learning in these lessons, which is slowing down their progress and making it frustrating to the teachers. It doesn’t have to be frustrating, you can have positive and successful lessons if you set yourself up for success!

I am going to share a few tips that I have found to help our students be more successful in their private lessons.

1. Google Docs
I started to use a Google Document for each of my lessons. I set up the document and share it with the parent. I also share it with the student if they have an email address. By

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
sharing this with the parent it adds another layer of accountability and keeps the parent in the loop. In this document I list what we worked on in the lesson as well as assign “homework” for each student. This may be something I want them to practice, a practice schedule, or a video that I want them to watch. I use links to music and videos of their routine for solo, duet, or trio lessons. This makes it convenient for them to have whatever they need to be successful. I start each lesson reviewing what we did the time before and ask them specific questions to see if they have completed their “homework.” I also tag the parent in the document after each lesson to keep them in the loop and help hold their child accountable. Create a template that you use for each type of lesson and make a copy each time you have a new student. I create several different templates for different types of lessons that I use to plug and play. That has made my private lessons successful and enjoyable.

This one tip has improved the progress of our students as well as their engagement dramatically.

2. Voice Recordings
Another great tool is to use the voice recording app on your phone, or the student’s phone to record notes and drills for them to practice. This helps with timing and memory as well as to have cues from you that help them learn choreography.

3. Video Sharing
The final tip is to create a video of the skill, technique drill, or choreography that you want your student to practice. This can be shared on Google Photos, via text link, or email. The visual and audible reminders are great for the students.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
To tie this all together, I always put the link to the voice recording or video into my Google Document so I have everything in one place for myself and for the student. It makes it easier to keep things straight and organized.

In this busy world we live in, we want to make sure that we make things easy and
convenient for our students and their families. We also want to make the private lesson that parents are paying for worth it to them by adding one or more of these strategies to your private lesson systems. These tips also make it so we as the teachers are enjoying each lesson and are not getting frustrated that our students are not remembering what we taught them.

Remember, they need to be reminded more often than we think and they are counting on us to help them learn how to set up practice schedules and to be accountable.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.

Leave a Comment