Motivate Your Piano Students [Chat with Paul Harris Part 1]

Motivate Your Piano Students [Chat with Paul Harris Part 1]

motivate your piano students

Once a piano student conquers a piece of music, teachers will often give them a new piece that is a little bit harder. The same process occurs after a student scrapes through an exam. They go onto the next level, and the next level and the next.

But is there a better way to motivate your piano students? How else can you urge your piano students to engage deeper with the music, and not just prepare them for exam after exam? How can you instil more confidence into your beginners without always giving them harder music?

This month, in line with our theme Teaching Beginner Piano and Planning CurriculumTim talks to esteemed UK music academic and educationalist Paul Harris about how to best motivate your piano students.

Today is the first of three videos to be posted this month, so keep an eye out for the next two instalments! They are sure to help you motivate your students and provide you with some new teaching techniques.

“…let’s do lots more pieces that are not more difficult so that students can learn quickly, enjoy the sensation of playing a whole piece, they understand the ingredients and then they build up momentum.” 

3 Take Aways

Here are just three things to take away from that video, but of course, there were plenty more!

  • Give your students multiple pieces at the same level to build confidence and higher levels of motivation 
  • Choose repertoire that is good, interesting and right for each individual student 
  • Do exams at the right time for your student- get your students to look beyond each exam! 


Why do we often see piano students quitting after they have completed a high-level exam?

By motivating your piano students and choosing the correct repertoire, your students will improve quicker and be less likely to quit. As Paul Harris says in today’s video, “throwing music out there makes the world a slightly better place.” 

What do you think? Can this process of giving students multiple pieces at around the same level prove more useful? Do you already do this? I would love to know what is working for you!

If you missed it, last week’s post 3 Keys to a Comprehensive Piano Lesson Plan will also help you to prepare your teaching material! Later in the week, we will be releasing a range of Lesson Plan Templates to help you take your beginners to that next level.

Sean Wales

Sean is one of Tim's former students and a University of Melbourne graduate. He studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring Media and Communications and Italian, and is currently working as a journalist for the ABC in Horsham.

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motivate your piano students
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