What to Include in a Piano Practice Kit for Online Piano Lessons

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At the time of writing this post, online piano lessons will be continuing indefinitely in my piano studio. So I’ve been putting together fun practice packets for my students to use at home during online lessons! I’ve done this for years for in-person lessons, but I thought it would be a great idea to create a practice kit especially for online lessons. It’s super easy, and my students love it!

Piano practice kit

During the past few months of 100% online piano lessons, many of my piano students have struggled to find a pencil or highlighter during their lessons. It doesn’t occur to them that we’ve already put everything they need into a pencil pouch in their practice binders, so this is what I hear every week when I ask someone to take out a pencil.

“M-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-M!!!! I NEED A PENCIL!!!”

Week after week… Their poor moms…

I’ve been noticing for awhile that when someone in the family needs a pencil or highlighter, they “borrow” it from the pencil pouch in my student’s piano practice binder, and unfortunately, the borrowed item often never returns to the pencil pouch. 

So I decided to provide a solution, and make our online piano lessons run more smoothly, without having to hear those dear sweet students wailing for a pencil every week during online piano lessons. I decided to make a practice kit that sits on top of the piano, so it’s always within reach of my students.

What to include in the practice kit

Pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, whatever works for you and your studio! I include the same items that my students and I use every week in my studio for in-person lessons, which creates a feeling of familiarity for my online students.

It also creates the sense that we’re not so far away from each other when we can both reach into our pencil mugs and use the same colored pencil or highlighter, or write on the same sticky notes.

Front Row:

  • Music note hair scrunchy or velvet scrunchy. All of my girls love these! The music note ones in these photos were actually made by one of my piano students. She’s 11 and has her own craft business, so I wanted to support her.
  • Skittles lip gloss or M&M lip balm. This was a prize that several of my students had earned at the end of the semester, while lessons were online. It will be delivered along with the practice kit.
  • Small stickers to add to their 30-Piece Challenge chart. Smiley faces, smiley stars, and a variety of others.
  • A variety of sizes of sticky notes (used as bookmarks, to mark practice sections, etc.)

Back Row:

  • Custom practice notes. I usually print them myself onto colored sticky notes, but printing that many at once was a daunting task! So I designed a rainbow version and had them printed at VistaPrint, and the quality is excellent. Here’s how we use them!
  • Custom mug: This was their prize for completing the 30-Piece Challenge. I decided on the mug because it instantly becomes the perfect holder for their pencils! I designed them and had them made at Shutterfly. The quality is excellent.
  • Crayola Twistables colored pencils
  • Colorful highlighters
  • Colorful Flair pens. My teens and pre-teens love Flair pens!
  • Mechanical pencils. They never need sharpening, so the kids won’t have to yell “MOM!!!!! I NEED MY PENCIL SHARPENED!!!!”.

Also Included:

  • Piano practice tips that we can use every week. Here’s where you can find them! These are printed onto this colorful card stock to stay cohesive with our rainbow theme for this year.
  • They’re held together with these fun colorful book rings.
  • 30-Piece Challenge sticker chart of their choice (see below). I designed several options, and my students will each choose their favorite for keeping track of how many pieces they’ve learned this year. I’ll keep a digital copy in my GoodNotes app on my iPad and fill it with digital stickers as they master a piece. They’ll have their own hard copy at home and can put stickers on it as well.
  • Studio calendar with all dates and events filled in. This always goes in the back cover of their binders so it’s handy.

Piano Practice Tips

piano practice tips

30-Piece Challenge Chart

Sticker Charts for GoodNotes

Wrapping Up

So that’s how to create the perfect piano practice kit for online piano lessons! The mugs of pencils, etc. will stay on top of their pianos, or within easy reach. The sticky notes and other supplies are in small bags, so they can get to them easily as well, and store them in the piano bench or on a shelf nearby, or even in the mug.

Don’t want to use plastic bags? This set of storage boxes is absolutely PERFECT for keeping the stickers, sticky notes, and other things within reach. I have the rainbow set and use it to hold flash cards. I really love how organized it keeps me.

And since the supplies are in sight and easy reach, hopefully my students won’t have to yell for Mom every week during piano, and we can get even MORE done during each lesson because they have all they supplies they need, right at their fingertips.

I consider this a huge win for all of us!

What do you include in your practice kit for online piano lessons? Comment and let us know!

Other blog posts to help you with online teaching:

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Melody Payne

Melody Payne

Dr. Melody Payne is a pianist, teacher, and educational resource author who believes that all piano students deserve the best musical experiences possible, in every single lesson. Melody self-publishes pedagogical materials for piano students as well as piano teaching articles and professional development courses for piano teachers. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Music with emphases in music education and piano pedagogy and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association. Melody and her husband Greg live in Marion, Virginia, a small town nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches children and adults of all ages and abilities in her online piano studio.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Annie A.

    This is so great! I’m going to incorporate this for sure this year 🙂

    1. Melody Payne

      Thanks, Annie! I hope it works really well for you and your students!

  2. Amanda

    Okay, I’m totally using ideas from this as I start this new semester! I have more online students than ever before, so am thinking more seriously about long-term online lessons rather than “making it work” for a season.

    1. Melody Payne

      It’s definitely going to be a longterm part of my studio, and I think sending personalized practice kits to my online students who aren’t local helps them feel more included in my studio. Setting students up for success from the start helps promote longevity in the studio, and I’m excited about another fabulous year!

Leave a Reply


Hi! I’m Melody Payne, a pianist and piano teacher, educational resource author, a fun-loving wife to the most wonderful and talented hubby I could ask for, and a lifelong learner who loves to share. I want to make your life as a music teacher easier by writing and sharing helpful and relevant music teaching articles, and by creating educational resources with your very own students in mind. If you are a parent who wants to enroll your child in piano lessons, I’d love for us to get started building those skills that can give your child a lifetime of musical enjoyment!

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