How Do You Improve Concentration?


How Do You Improve Concentration?

Let's be honest, there are some days when even I need help to improve concentration! When I find myself drifting off to catch butterflies in space (aka-zoning out), I know I have to improve concentration by getting my body back in balance.

Do your students concentrate 100 per cent of the time?

Improve Concentration - Book

Have you ever looked at your student and they are sprawled all over the table, eyes half closed with visions of anything BUT theoretic concepts floating in their brain?

Have you ever wondered if your student is actually listening to you, so you say “4 quarter notes = 7 beats” and they just nod…obviously NOT listening?

Just about every student, no matter what their Learning Style, will have an “off day” – a lesson where they just can’t seem to concentrate, where what you are saying is going in one ear and out the other.

Instead of banging your head (or theirs) into a wall in frustration, why not take two minutes to improve their concentration by bringing their body back into balance.

Body Balance #1 – Improve Concentration with The Turtle

Improve Concentration - TurtleSitting in the chair, take a deep breath in for 4 beats while bringing your shoulders and hands up - as if you are a turtle crawling into your shell. Hold for 4 beats.

Then as you release your breath, relax your shoulders and let your head come back out of your shell for 4 beats.

Remember, breath in as your shoulders go up and out as your shoulders go down.

Repeat The Turtle four times (you can even put the metronome on at a nice Adagio or Andante tempo).

Body Balance #2 – Improve Concentration with The Cat

Improve Concentration - CatStand facing the wall (or door) and stretch up as high as you can go for 4 beats.

Take a deep breath in as you slide up!

Hold for 4 beats then slide your fingertips down the wall right to the floor for 4 beats.

Exhale as you slide down.

Pretend that you are a cat and you are scratching your curved fingers down the post.

Repeat The Cat four times, grazioso and legato.

Body Balance #3 – Improve Concentration with The Sour Lemon

Improve Concentration - LemonSitting down in the chair, pretend to pick up two lemons with your hands, bring them to your mouth (take 4 beats) and then take a big bite – hold that sour face for 4 beats.

Then let the lemons go, drop your hands and exhale for 4 beats.

Repeat Sour Lemons four times, larghetto and giocoso.

How do you feel?

Focusing on the 4 counts to breath in, hold the breath for 4 and then breath out for 4 will bring back balance…and you might just get a giggle or two out of your sour face!

Improving Concentration through Body Balance - yet another way to support students as they learn theory. The Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course will provide you with many more ways to support your students, build your own confidence and improve concentration.

P.S. - Join the Conversation: Have you ever had a student fall asleep during a lesson? Have you ever (almost) fallen asleep during a lesson?


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Keep on Learning... With a Smile and a Song!

Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


3 thoughts on “How Do You Improve Concentration?”

  • Barbara L says:

    Excellent ideas!! Will pass these on to my Pedagogy gals! Thanks.

    • Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren says:

      Studying Piano Pedagogy is an exciting time in a young Teacher’s life! I haven’t stopped studying and I’ve been teaching for 37 years now…
      Many Teachers focus extensively on “Piano” Pedagogy. The Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course is the ONLY Course for Teachers that focuses on Theory AND TEACHING Pedagogy! Check it out!
      And remember, if you do not learn anything, we will refund your money. That’s right – 100% Money Back Guarantee. (And I am available to support you while you are studying the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course too!)

  • Kamara says:

    Hello Shelagh

    Thanks for sharing these GREAT ideas for bringing back balance and concentration. These will sure serve me well!

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