Year-End Parent/Student Questionnaires

A few weeks ago, I shared a detailed post on how I use Evernote to conduct my end-of-year student evaluations. The other part of my final meeting with families includes them filling out a questionnaire.

The benefit is two-sided. One one hand, the questionnaires are about me receiving feedback to improve not only my teaching but my business.

On the other side of that, however, is that I think having parents and students both ponder through these questions, helps them evaluate their own efforts/interactions over the past year.

In reflecting, they will feel either a good sense of accomplishment and realization of the quality studio in which they are invested (good I hope!) or awareness that maybe some things need to change. This is a good point for further discussions on practice habits, etc.

I’ve always simply sent a pdf to parents or linked to a pdf in Dropbox so they can download and print the form. This year, I finally got around to doing an online form on my website. My site is built on WordPress and the plugin I use is just a basic form builder – Visual Form Builder.

I wanted to share the form with you today in Word format so you can download and make any modifications you need.

Student Questionnaire

View my online form I used with Visual Form Builder on WordPress

Parent Questionnaire

View my online form I used with Visual Form Builder on WordPress

 

Updates

Every year I tweak the forms just a bit depending on what I want to know. I will often include questions at the end of the form regarding special classes I’m thinking about offering to gauge general interest or ask for feedback regarding a specific event I hosted that year.

 

Retreat at Piano Manor

My friend, Joy Morin over at Color in My Piano has been wanting to do a retreat at her home for piano teachers for a long time and this is the year!

I’m excited to be a part of this 3-day retreat at her home in Northwestern Ohio this coming August as the official “food planner.” Yea!

This is the time of year everyone’s making plans for the summer months. Add this to your list!

For details visit Joy’s website.

Friday Finds: Underground Conservatory

 

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I’ll admit, I’m not the teacher that is always up on all the “music/teaching” apps out there. Part of me can be a teensy-weensy bit slow at keeping up on that end. I was, however, happy to add to my iPad this week, TuneTrain especially for students who love to compose. The best part is that with a single tap, the student can transform their visual “picture” melody into actual notation. Fab. Continue reading

Digital Photo Organization

What’s the one digital item you find trickiest to keep organized?

For me, it’s photos.

A lot of readers have asked about this and when a friend asked the same question just the other day, that was my clue it was time to share.

I have a confession though – I wouldn’t call my way anything special, it’s just what I do for now. I love seeing ideas of how others organize, even if I don’t end up doing it that way, so hopefully, you can find some inspiration to clean up your photo files and share any great tips you have with me! Continue reading

Friday Finds: Spring Inspiration.

 

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Did you know Music Mind Games has a rhythm solitaire app? It’s only $0.99 on the app store and will be a fun addition to my lab time. Rhythm and solitaire – a brilliant combination! Continue reading

Personal Teaching Tweaks

Recently, in an attempt to work on letting my students take more ownership of their lesson and learning, I’ve tried tweaking a few things with my teaching style. It’s nothing major but I thought it might be fun to share.

 

Ownership

As a very organized person who likes things neat and tidy, and wants to be as efficient with our short amount of time together, I found myself doing too many things for my students. Continue reading

How One Teacher Uses Evernote to Track Repertoire

Natalie Weber over at Music Matters Blog just shared an in-depth post on how she started using Evernote to track repertoire. She’s included screen shots and lots of details on her tagging system –  check out her post:

Finally, a Way to Track Repertoire!

Evernote Community Leader

By now many of you are aware that I am a huge Evernote fan. I can’t help it! Nothing else has been able to match this productivity workhorse in regards to the way I work and capture information.

I have been using it for 5 years and every year I continually improve and streamline how I use it on a daily basis not only in my professional life but in my personal life as well. The first time I shared with you how I use it as an independent teacher was in December 2016 in the post/video Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook.

That initial post was followed up with:

Evernote Part 2 [Web Clipper]
Evernote Part 3 [Account Features, Tagging, and More]
and my most recent post, Using Evernote for Student Evaluations

I am super excited to announce that in January 2017, after completing a training course, I was accepted into the Evernote Community Leader (ECL) program! Continue reading

Friday Finds: Names and Sheet Music

 

 

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I just printed out Julie Knerr’s 20-Ways to Practice for a Recital to use with my students in the two weeks leading up to their recital. I printed the list page on one side and then printed the 25-check boxes image on the other side of the page.

 

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One of my favorite hymns is It is Well with My Soul. I downloaded the studio license. It’s already loaded into my ForScore app ready to play on Sunday. Continue reading

Using Evernote for Student Evaluations

Change. I need thrive on it. I love the seasons, re-arranging my studio annually, and re-doing my student schedule each summer and fall. The latter of course takes time but for me, the idea of never changing my lesson schedule is suffocating! LOL.

Clear start and end points to me, give a sense of relief and rest and in a way, a mental break. When I used to be a choral director I would frequently get sick the week following school being out as my body was letting go of the stress!

The end of the school year for many independent studios is the time take a step back and celebrate the culmination of student’s work and progress through recitals. Not only that, but it’s the perfect time to turn our heads and reflect on the last 30 to 40 lessons and 4,000 plus hours of practice. Did we use our time wisely? Did the student make progress? Did they participate in studio events? Does the student feel they put in their best effort? There are so many questions that can be pondered and progress assessed, that conducting student evaluations has become a part of my annual schedule.

My recital is always the Sunday before Memorial Day. It does get a little crazy having it that time of year, but I love the feeling of having that culminating event where the whole studio comes together to celebrate and make music. The week following the recital, students and parents come to the student’s normal lesson time, but there is no formal lesson. We sit down and hash out the past and the future of the student’s piano studies together. (The last week of May my studio is closed for a semester break then we return for summer lessons the first week of June).

My part of that meeting time is giving the student a formal evaluation and the parent and student’s part is filling out questionnaires I give to them ahead of time. Today we’re focusing on the former. In another post, I will share my parent and student questionnaires.

Many teachers, after seeing my extensive tutorial on how Evernote can help you organize your studio, got a peek at my evaluation form and have been asking if I would be willing to share. Not only am I going to share the form, but I’m going to explain in detail how I use Evernote to organize and track evaluations from year to year.

Seeing how far we’ve come is only possible if we remember where we started!

Continue reading