It can be very frustrating to be halfway into a lesson and discover that a vital piece of equipment is missing, preventing you from moving smoothly through your plan.

For example, you have positioned your CD player neatly on a table, where it will be audible to all your students, and conveniently within reach of your favourite hand. Then you discover that the lead that connects the CD player to your power supply is mysteriously not there.

Where is it?O yes, you used it last Wednesday when you were demonstrating to your friends at home how nice some track sounded. And that’s where it still is – plugged into a wall socket at home. Of course, it’s an unusual configuration, and no-one else in the school has one that they can spare right now, even if you knew whom to ask, and were willing to waste 15 minutes of your half hour lesson running around trying to locate one.

Or, as your students file in through the door, you remember that a textbook you promised to bring for that child who was away when everyone else got theirs is still sitting on your desk in your studio – again!. To avoid this type of embarrassment and inconvenience, I wrote out a checklist of all the things I like to have with me before I start a lesson.

Here are a few of the items:

InstrumentYour own instrument – this is essential for demonstrating exercises and pieces to your students, thereby informing and inspiring them.

Spare InstrumentsJust because your are organised enough to remember to bring your instrument to every lesson, doesn’t mean that all your students will be. I always take a few spare instruments along to each lesson, so that those who do forget can still be happily involved. (I make them clean the instrument at the end of the lesson).

TextbookThis is the basis of your lesson plan. If no-one has a copy, you will be improvising your lesson structure or else teaching from memory. If you don’t have your copy but the students do, it will be inconvenient (but not impossible) for you to share one of the students’.

Spare TextbooksSee “Spare Instruments” above. Omit the cleaning.

Music StandIs there a music stand in all the rooms you use for your lessons? If not you will be propping up your written material on the backs of chairs or benches. Very unprofessional.

You can download the complete checklist, in Excel format from here:

Music Teacher Checklist