When I started teaching piano full time, one of the biggest challenges for me personally was finding a method for lesson planning, tracking student progress, and materials.
The latter item I’ve mastered using Evernote (see Evernote Part 1: Studio Mangement), but the first two I struggled with for several years (I’ll avoid sharing the details of my failed attempts!)
We all know the best way to learn is to make mistakes and find a better way on our own, and that’s what I did.
One thing I’ve learned about myself is I’m a very visual person. I don’t do well simply making a note or two here or there for items I need to remember for students for their next lesson. I need to see the big picture. For one semester I even tried somewhat “winging it,” without writing down anything before the lesson and I felt kind of out of control and disorganized.
Finally, in 2014 I was inspired by an article in the September/October 2014 Issue of Clavier Companion written by Arlene Steffen, Stephen Hughes, and Craig Sale called “Lesson Plans: A teaching essential?” (I would highly recommend you read it!)
Thanks to their detailed article, my king spreadsheet was born.
Because a spreadsheet like this will be completely customized to your teaching style (and studio calendar), it doesn’t do me any good to give you a copy of mine. So, in this post, not only do I walk you through the details of what I include, but I’ve also created a video showing you through how to create your version. I’ll show you tips and tricks for using Excel like a pro! Continue reading