Back to piano lessons after summer break!


Fall is just around the corner and for many of us it is the time that we go back to teaching after a  two-month break.

We are going to have some new students for the new school term but we are definitely going to meet most of our students from last year as well.

So how do we welcome them on their first piano lesson for the year?


Do we continue from where we left off or is there a better lesson plan for that first piano lesson of the new school term?

Well, starting from where we left off is an option but not the best one.

Children usually go a few steps back during summer holidays and they feel that they are not capable to play the piano as well as before or they feel like they forgot some theory they have been taught.

Teachers’ duty on this first piano lesson after summer holidays is to give their students  confidence and make them feel safe and capable. Students should feel  inspired  and accomplished after that first lesson and look  forward to  this new school term.

That is  why we need a special lesson plan  for this  first piano lesson after summer break.

Welcome the student.

Students will be very excited to see you after  two months and it would be very encouraging  to see you with a big smile in your face and a warm heart (of course this is something you should keep in mind for every lesson).

Spend a few minutes talking about how the summer was. You may tell them some exciting or funny stories about your summer and then ask them to tell you theirs.

Guide them to your music studio or music school. Show them any possible changes you may have made during the summer or you may  let them discover what’s new on their own.

Introduce them to their new books

Show them their new books and  play some pieces from there. This is a good time to set the longer-term goals.


These would be goals  about taking  exams or participating in student concerts.

Play a music game

Playing music board games with our students has many benefits. You find out more in Music Board Games, Benefits and a Guide.

Before you start teaching your student  a  new piano piece it will be helpful  to start with a board game that is going to refresh student’s memory and remind them of some music theory  elements.

That’s a perfect way to see what they remember and what they have forgotten.

Go with a new piano piece

On this first piano lesson avoid starting teaching from where you had left off.

Bring in a variety of  exciting sheet music in tons of styles, preferably not from their books. Research in detail new repertoire for every student individually   and let them choose what they want to learn to play. Finding the right piece for each students will motivate their practice.

I suggest you search for fun pieces that are pleasant to their ears, with fun titles and illustrations, popular songs or soundtracks, beautiful duets etc.  The whole idea is to find something for them that will make them anxious to learn.

Technical skills

After a long period of not practicing,  our fast muscle response gets rusty.

Give your students  some easy scales and arpeggios for the first piano lesson but good enough to strengthen their hands and fingers in case they haven’t played much during summer holidays.

Announce a challenge

A challenge could  be one of the longer-term goals for your students.

It works for beginners, elementary or intermediate students and it is an opportunity for the students to improve and practice more to accomplish their goal.

A challenge idea that is quite popular these days is the ‘30 piece challenge’. Students are encouraged to learn  30 pieces during a year. This might sound too much for some students but some of the  30 pieces of the challenge can be easier than others. The idea of this challenge is to develop more fluent readers and build up different aspects of musicianship.

A version of the same challenge is the ‘20 piece challenge’. Students may learn 20 pieces and record their performances.

Another challenge idea is the ‘12 piece memory challenge’. Students are encouraged to learn and play by memory 12 pieces during the year. They may record their performances or play them for their teacher.

Everyone wants to start lessons on a positive and happy way.

No matter how much your students practiced during summer, in the first lesson of the new school term there must be no judgements.

Piano lessons should be filled with your high energy, your new fresh ideas and a lot of excitement!!

Make your lesson plan and set the goals for each one of your students individually.

Welcome back and happy teaching!!

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