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4 Ways To Breathe New Life Into 2021 Music Lessons

Playing music that matters to students is a strong motivational force in music lessons. The following are fun ways to blow the dust off your music lessons and continue developing skills and musical intelligence in 2021.

Florence Price

Lia Jensen-Abbott and Barbara Garvey Jackson put together two fantastic albums of supplemental music for piano students. Volume 1 is great for the earliest beginners. Volume 2 can be used with intermediate students through early advanced. Volume 2 includes beautiful music that is fun and rewarding to play. Both volumes are written with care for the fledgling pianist- I can't say the same of all music written for piano study.

Racism is deeply entrenched into the classical music world. The methods we use to educate musicians are no exception. Supplemental materials like these two albums of music by Price are invaluable resources.

Prices' music is unique to the US. It is the sound of The Great Migration, providing a wealth of opportunities to explore our own nation's contribution to art. Give Performer's Music in the Fine Arts Building a call at 312.987.1196. to order your copy.


A growing number of teen and pre-teen music students are getting Musescore accounts. It's fun to browse Musescore and find arrangements of your favorite pieces.

When students come to their lesson with music from the internet riddled with errors, or music arranged in a way that makes it unplayable, this presents several unique opportunities.

I use these situations to get students interested in editing, arranging, and composing music. Tightening up a less-than-wonderful arrangement is rewarding. It's an opportunity to engage with students about copyright and how to ethically obtain music too.

There is something for everyone on Check it out if you haven't already.


To be honest, I don't really get TikTok. I wasn't even spelling it right until my editor read this post- thanks to my wife. But I know music students have TicTok accounts. When certain music trends on TicTok (right now it's Sea Shanties! ...?), students will practice to play the music in their own TicToc video. Goal oriented practice is highly motivating.

I suppose this falls under the category of "meeting students where they are." This week we'll be playing Sea Shanties. The next zany TicTok trend will provide more opportunities!

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