Img: Cliff
No matter how much time, effort and passion you put in, sometimes a class just gets away from you. The variables are many, and there’s no way to anticipate every issue before arises. But you can get more out of each class by employing a few simple tips:

1. C’mon, Get Appy!
If there’s any process you can automate; any list or schedule you can digitize…do it! This will save you time searching and reaching for things and allow you to focus on instruction. Check out this list of Edudemic’s top 70 favorites.

2. Zap Student Squabbles
You never know what’s going on in a student’s day, but if they act out, it could derail class for everyone. As soon as you sense tension, ask what’s wrong and how you can help. If the student isn’t forthcoming, offer to discuss after class so you can move on.

3. Plan It
Save the improvisation for the music. Even if it’s just an outline, make a plan for each class. You can bring a hard copy with you or have it ready on your mobile device. Your class will run more smoothly and you’ll exude more confidence when you’ve got a roadmap. Here, the female counterpart from 2001: A Space Odyssey explains this handy planning tool.

4. Make it Relevant
You’ll have to cover the fundamentals when teaching any instrument. But you’ll get more engagement from your students if some of your examples come from current artists. This may take some in-class surveying, but you will probably have a slam dunk if you teach them a song from Frozen.

5. Reward Effort and Execution
Some students will be quick to learn new skills and concepts. Your praise will give them added
momentum. Other students might struggle but give their best effort. Don’t forget to praise them as well. To hear that they’re “doing a great job” or that they’re “almost there” will remind them not to give up.