Assignment Sheets

A recent discussion at PianoTeaching.com’s Piano Club focused on the different kinds of assignment sheets teachers use for their students.  I thought I’d share mine and say a few words about the kinds of assignments I make.

You can find the sheet in pdf format on my Teaching Materials page.  I made the sheet in Pages, and I type directly into the form in that application.  I create a separate page for each lesson.  At the end of each lesson, I print the sheet out and add it to the student’s binder.  I like doing this because it gives me a quick and easy way of having two copies of the assignment – one for the student and one for me.  I always refer to these when planning lessons to review what was done previously, and if a student ever loses theirs, I can always email a quick copy of it to the parents.

As you might notice – like my flash cards, the assignment sheet is pretty minimal.  This gives me a lot of flexibility in what I write, and it forces me to give clear, concise instructions.

The assignment sheet is only one part of the information a student gets, though.  The assignment sheet is a quick and easy note stating expected goals and giving a few suggestions on practicing.

The assignment sheet usually gives simple instructions and refers to measure numbers in the score.  Examples of things I write are:  ”check rhythm in mm. 30 and 38″ and “bring the tempo of  the B section up to mm=132.”  I don’t put much detail in the assignment sheet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give detailed instructions – for that, we go to the score.  The details are written in the score itself, and often, I’ll have students write their own instructions on the music – fingering, rhythm, legato, etc…

So that’s pretty much it – a few instructions from me on a single piece of paper with a checklist and 3 boxes, and a bunch of markings in the score to highlight the details.

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