I find that the students who make the most consistent progress often have parents who take the most notes, and who write them in a format that is easily accessible when they are home practicing. While there are some exceptions, students whose parents do not take notes (or who take very few notes) tend to have slower progress through the repertoire. As a teacher, it is frankly discouraging to be working with a student, only to look up and notice that mom or dad does not have a notebook open and ready. Yet on the flip side of the coin, I become very encouraged when I’m working with a student, and suddenly they turn to their parent and say "Write that down, Mom! I want to practice that at home!"
I recommend writing notes in outline form using a standard 8.5”X11” size notebook. Each topic/activity gets large print, and then the details of each activity are described in bullet points. While lessons may seem like stream-of-conscious, this is not often the best way to write notes. Pay attention carefully so you can sort out the project we are working on, and the focus point for improvement with that project. In practice, you will want to approach the projects exactly how we do it in the lesson – and then carry the concept further into the realm of fluidity and ease. Many parents find it helpful to write down the exact descriptive words I use. Some write down the various phrases I say when correcting/guiding/encouraging. In addition to words, also write down descriptors for how I guide your child. Sometimes I may guide their hands physically, other times I will try to guide them verbally, sometimes I will alternate between two activities. Draw pictures for yourself of positioning. And please – ask questions if you don’t understand what to write!
What do you find most helpful while taking notes? Please let me know in the comments!