Tonara AssignementWe take a three-week break for the holidays in my piano studio. That’s a pretty long time not to¬†engage with my students, but the long break allows me to fit in holiday concerts that I enjoy playing for. There were five this year.

The day after Christmas, I was thinking about what I might do to connect with students before they return to lessons on January 3. Since I use the Tonara app to give assignments, I decided to add a new assignment to every student’s task list, inviting them to record one of their Christmas pieces and send me the recording.

So far, four students have uploaded recordings. (Hopefully, more will come.) I noticed that each student played significantly better on the recording than they had at their last lesson. They’ve obviously continued to practice over the break! Is there anything that makes a teacher happier?

Eighth-grader Logan played so musically, I thought I would share her recording. You can hear lots of background noise while she’s playing: the dog saunters by, and there’s meal prep and lots of chatter happening. But that’s the reality of how we all have to fit in our piano practice, isn’t it? We do it amidst the life happening around us. (I faded out the recording near the end where the background noise got really loud.)

This is a lovely new arrangement of The First Noel by Wendy Stevens.


I’m grateful to be using Tonara, which easily facilitates between-lessons communications such as this.