top of page

Ten Tips for Healthy Relationships with Students

As music teachers, we love working with students as they achieve new skills and gain confidence. Observing their musical growth over several years is deeply satisfying. However, every relationship requires maintenance. Our relationships with students can be easily damaged through miscommunication or unresolved conflicts. Consider these ten tips to maintaining healthy relationships with your student.

July, 2019 - A Century of Sound Connections. CFMTA/FCAPM National Conference 

Diversifying the Repertoire: A Guide to Teaching New Styles

Teaching music outside the classical canon can be challenging for the time-strapped music teacher. It can be simpler to assign the same, well-loved repertoire student after student, especially if the styles and musical idioms are well-known. The ability to play confidently in many styles of music, however, is a valuable skill set. Although it is preferable for students to be exposed to a variety of musical styles from an early stage of development, it is not uncommon for an elementary or intermediate student to have never played non-classical music. This session will explore practical tips for introducing non-classical music to classically trained students, using the technical and musicianship skills already acquired. By identifying both the limit and potential of these skills, Amy Boyes explores the process of broadening a student's repertoire. Video footage from actual lessons is featured along with interview segments with students.

July, 2021 - Connecting Canada. CFMTA/FCAPM National Virtual Conference

Ready for a Music Examination? Practical, Specific Indicators

A music examination is a third-party assessment of a student’s progress. In the best-case scenario, the examination grade level is appropriate, the student is well-prepared, and the examination is an affirmation of the learning process. But this is only the best-case scenario, and several questions should be asked by teachers and parents when considering music examinations. 

July, 2022 - Connecting Canada. CFMTA/FCAPM Virtual Professional Development

The New Reality for Music Teachers: Thriving challenging economic circumstances

Independent music teachers must cope with unique economic circumstances. Since the Covid pandemic, rising living costs, income inequality, and higher interest rates have created new challenges and opportunities. As the economic realities worsen, music teachers may find a reduced demand for music lessons while their own expenses continue to increase.  This session explores five strategies for coping with changing economic circumstances.

July, 2023 - National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy, Conference

When to Call It Quits: A guide for parting ways with students

In most circumstances, independent music teachers choose students, establishing and terminating relationships as suits schedules, career goals, and financial needs. Sometimes the relationship between teacher and learner must end. The process can cause a great deal of stress for music teachers who seek the best for students but have clear boundaries and goals for their teaching studio. This session outlines five moments in the teacher/student relationship when it is important to part ways.


Available for presentation

Supporting Teaching Colleagues … with Whom You Disagree

As music teachers, we often work independently. Our professional lives can be lonely, so the support of colleagues is vital. During the Covid pandemic, music teachers turned to the wider, online community for support and guidance. For better or for worse, music teachers across the world advised one another on topics as wide-ranging as non-penetrable vapour barriers to video-conferencing software to studio vaccine policies. In the online world, where in-person relationships perhaps have never existed, collegial discussion can often break down. There is a temptation to criticize colleagues, isolate oneself from conflicting responses or philosophies, or even withdraw to the solitude of one’s private studio. Four principles can guide our interactions.

Available for presentation

Don’t Make Me Use My Teacher Voice

Finding ways to avoid frustration in the music lesson is important to establish a healthy learning environment. The sessions applies proven educational principles to the private music lesson for practical application for all teachers. By changing approaches, attitudes, and communication styles, teachers can avoid a frustrating teaching experience.

Available for presentation

When the Well Is Dry: Reigniting the spark for teaching

Music teachers may feel exhausted and burned out by the end of the year, especially after the Covid Pandemic challenged traditional teaching practices. This presentation outlines practical steps for teachers to reignite the emotional involvement needed for effective, empathic teaching.


Available for presentation

bottom of page