Do you have trouble setting up a rehearsal schedule that you or your students can actually stick to?

Are you or your students just not progressing towards that end of year performance, exam or assessment?

Is this frustrating you?

I know that for all of these questions, it certainly is a point of angst and frustration for me!!! In the last week I have had many a conversation with my senior class about their progress towards their HSC Music exam that is in September. I have had tears, meltdowns, people refusing to bring their instrument to class and other students simply “hiding”. And the disappointing thing is, that not any of this behaviour is helping my students get any closer to their end goal.

So what do we do?

Ignore them?

Write up heaps of paperwork about non-completion of class activities?

Or do we work with and support them so that they can overcome the obstacles in front of them?

Well I prefer the last one—to work with them. This of course only works if the student is willing to meet you at least half way! Below is a list of steps to take to help your students, and your sanity, so they can get to that end goal.


  1. Discuss with them what their actual goal is. What is that they want to achieve? Talk about what is stopping them, and what will help them. At this point you will probably find that they admit that they need some help and that what are doing is not working for them. If you would like a FREE SMART Goal Planner, along with other FREE resources to help you students, go to my TPT store. Link to Improving Class Results here.
  2. Create a big table of the number of weeks left before the actual performance. (This could be days, if time is tight) There is a 10 week Planner available for FREE at my TPT store. Link here.
  3. Decide where there will be check points along the way. Discuss this with your students as to what is achievable for their ability level
  4. Write down any school, family, work or sport commitments. Make sure they put in everything—they need to see where their time is going as well as where they actually have some time available. Also make sure that the student gives themselves time to have some fun and downtime too. At my TPT store there is a fun lesson on time management, for FREE!! Link here
  5. Now is the time to write in their actual rehearsal schedule. Make it realistic. How much time can they practice each day? Each week? How much time do you think they need to put in to get towards their goal?
  6. At this stage you could ask the student to commit to specific goals—I will learn XXXX much of piece number 1 by ????, I will know all of XXXX scales by ????, etc…
  7. Try colour coding the schedule. This often helps the visual learner in all of us.
  8. Once this is complete, check it together.
  9. Make sure that you have a check I time with your student so that they know that they need to be accountable.


I did this for my current class at the beginning of this term. I set out the number of weeks to their HSC Exams, and had clear points for when I expected things to be ready. So far, we have stuck to the plan, with only a couple of variations due to other school events.

Since doing this with all of my senior class, they have had a lot more focus and a much clearer idea of what needs to be done and by when.

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Until next time

Happy teaching

Julia from Jooya



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