A place for piano pedagogy, music teaching professionals and creative studio ideas…with style!

The Learning Environment: The Piano Studio.

What’s in a studio? Have you set up your own piano studio? If you are looking to set up a studio, what might you need?

I teach in several locations. Some I have more control over the environment than others.

In my home studio I like to make the music room warm and inviting. I have all of the resources at my finger tips. When I go to schools I have a varied degree of influence over the space I teach in. Some locations have small practice rooms that we teach in, they always have a tuned upright piano, piano bench, small table and teachers chair in them. But if we go one step beyond the basics, it helps to have air-conditioning and a clean and tidy environment. Space to move and do activities is also a bonus.

Some schools provide a CD player/iPod dock and storage space for keeping materials. Other schools provide a white board and markers. All of these things are helpful. So I decided to put together my wishlist. If I was going into a school to teach, what would I ask for? Here it is!


 Piano Studio Requirements

studio items

The Learning Environment: What do you require?


 

Whilst in my list I have an upright piano as fundamental, if the schools I teach in were to put a grand piano in for me, I would be ecstatic!

Additionally, I have other things that fall into the “finishing touches” category. At my home studio, I have student work up, music books for them to read whilst waiting, most of my music library, a music box, piano friends and other teaching resources. I also normally have a mild scented candle burning somewhere in the room. Whilst this isn’t something that I can do in the schools I teach, I feel that the olfactory sense is often overlooked in the learning environment. Aural, visual and kinesthetic senses are easily taken care of, but smell and taste are tricky.

Music is such a sensory experience. How do you create a warm inviting learning environment, particularly when you are working in schools? Do you think it matters? I would be interested to know how other teachers feel about the requirements for a positive learning space.


In other news, our winner for the Phyl Pretty Treble Clef Earrings was a very excited Ana Sala! Congratulations Ana!! We are looking forward to putting together out next giveaway. Keep your eyes peeled!

4 Responses to “The Learning Environment: The Piano Studio.”

  1. Beth

    I taught in a school once. The piano was in a “breakout room” (windowless room with 5 doors leading into different rooms) that was used as a hallway, the piano was right next to a door leading into the toilets (I’m not kidding, I wish I was!!!), teachers and parents would stop and have conversations right next to the piano, and on rainy days the kids would run around in the hall behind the breakout room and play a game where they would run and smash themselves up against the wall behind me. Horrific. Also after a change in principal, if I wanted to teach in school hours it had to be on a keyboard with less than 88 keys and no pedal and no bench (I decided not to…funnily enough…). Oh and the piano was on wheels that took it a good 10cm off the ground and made it almost impossible to pedal with your heel on the ground, and it was pretty old and ratty. They offered to buy a new piano and try to find a better spot for it if I’d stay when I gave notice that I was leaving, but I had a feeling things wouldn’t change as much as I needed them too. It’s so much more pleasant teaching from home, with windows, the door open for fresh air, a couch for parents, a digital piano next to the upright so I can play along/demonstrate, all my books at hand, no-one wandering through, an endless supply of pencils, and a warm cup of tea nearby! Oh, and a clock!

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  2. creativepianoprofessional

    Beth, that sounds like a very poor learning (and working) environment!! This is similar to many teachers’ experiences in schools and I’m wondering how we can improve the situation.

    And a clock, I should at that to my list!!

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  3. timtopham

    I think that sums it up pretty well. Always nice having access to a copier and/or printer too 🙂 and isn’t the see-thru door access probably fundamental these days?

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