As your students’ Rockschool exams draw near, it’s important that as their teacher you have a sense of how they’re progressing. You may only see your students once a week or maybe even once a fortnight, so it’s crucial that any time spent with them is used as effectively as possible.
The preparation process is a little different for Rockschool video exams but the majority of the principles remain the same, so read on to learn how you can track your students’ progress and keep them on the right track.
Use the teacher’s comments box wisely!
The feedback and insight that you provide in your lessons with students will provide them with the scaffolding to make progress in their own personal practice between lessons. You don’t have to go into exhaustive detail when filling out this box, just make sure you’re adding manageable goals in a concise way so that your students know exactly what they need to do, how to do it, and that they will be able to achieve it before your next lesson.
Be specific when setting goals
Vague feedback like “improve your sound” doesn’t help anyone: students feel confused frustrated, and it’s likely you’ll find yourself repeating yourself in future lessons. Be specific in your advice in your lessons and watch both you and your students reap the rewards!
If you want your student to simply “sound better”, it’s unlikely that will happen without targeted advice and practical tips. How can they improve? Can they achieve a wider dynamic range? Should they focus on achieving more nuance in their articulation?
There’s a huge amount of information and almost infinite resources available online for music students, but time spent with an expert in their field (you!) is paramount when it comes to students progressing on their instruments. It’s likely that they’ll look up to you as a true guru on your instrument, so embrace that role in their musical development.
Get more advice on how your students can excel in their video exams from one of our examiners!
Having said all this, it is still key to your students’ development that you tell them what they’re doing right. As you’ll know from your own experience learning an instrument, if you have a teacher who is overly critical and constantly striving for an unattainable standard, your confidence will be worn down very quickly. Make sure to give your students clear goals, but also remind them of their strengths.
You can be specific when praising them too! Picking out a particular bar or passage which they performed well can help them see how they need to improve in the wider context of the piece.
Keep your students happy with our top tips!
It’s been a tough year for everyone, particularly those involved in the creative arts who haven’t been able to generate their income in their usual way. Students are no doubt feeling a sense of burnout too, so it’s important to keep their sense of motivation up so they can continue their musical development.
Point them in the direction of our Practice Advice and remind them of the importance of taking regular breaks, having a positive mindset, and simply listening to music of all kinds!
That’s it for today! Download your free Practise with Purpose Diary now.
If you or your students are ready to take the plunge, why not enter for your exam today!