It took me many years to figure out how to best use my time in the summer as a piano teacher! Some summers I took off completely, yet when my students returned in the fall, it seemed they had forgotten a lot. Some summers I taught lessons to whoever wanted them, whenever we were all in town, but it seemed like all I did was practice with students, as they were so busy with day-camps and travel, they really didn't have time to practice regularly. Seven years ago, I finally decided to try out an idea I had been playing around with, and I offered a one-week piano camp session to my students. I thought, if I am going to be practicing with students in the summer, anyway, maybe I can condense my time, and have several students here together for a few days in a row.
Now, seven years later, I am still teaching piano camp! For the summer of 2010, I am offering 4 different week-long camp sessions. Piano Camp has become a highlight of my year, and it really enhances what I have to offer my students. I offer the camp to current students of my own, as well as those of my mom. For more information on how the camps are run, check back to the blog archives for July and August of 2008.
Now, here is my favorite Bastien series to use with students during the summer! These books can be used in private or group settings, and it is also possible for students to use these books on their own at home.
Lisa, Mom and I wrote this series a few years ago, and although it can be used at any time of the year, I like to use it with students during the summer. Each book contains solo pieces with CD accompaniment, theory pages, ear-training pages, and an on-going story being told by "Scarlatti" the spirit of the magic piano. There are also many directions given to students in simple ways, by "Ms. Maples", the piano teacher. It is very creative, it reviews concepts from method books, and students seem encouraged to complete each book quickly. I have been using this series in my piano camps, and students learn the pieces together in groups, but also enjoy being able to take the book home after having learned the pieces, and playing along with the CD accompaniments for the rest of the summer!