Are You Taking Notes?

Presenting the new Stepping Tones Practice Diary!

To buy the book, or view full details and sample pages, click here.

Last year I sent out 100 prototype copies of the Stepping Tones Practice Diary to instrumental and vocal teachers in the UK. Teachers trialled the book with their pupils, completed questionnaires and returned their feedback. Here are some of the responses and how the ST Practice Diary addresses the points that were raised.

Are you taking notes?

Are you taking notes?

  • 97% of the teachers surveyed said they made notes during lessons; only 6% of teachers said that their pupils ever wrote in their notebook.

The best lessons are a collaboration between teacher and pupil (and sometimes parent) with all parties working together towards the same goal. The ST Practice Diary is designed to encourage children to want to read and write notes, which in turn should help them practice more efficiently… and learn more quickly and easily!

  • 60% of teachers currently use a basic A5 book with either plain or lined paper. Most have no illustrations or colour, no jokes, puzzles or features. 90% of teachers loved the illustrations and layout of the Stepping Tones Practice Diary.

Piano tuna (covered in scales!)

Piano tuna (covered in scales!)

The Stepping Tones Diary is brimming with features for children such as jokes, illustrations, practice tips and an A4 landscape-practice chart each week, which is a perfect size for children to write in.

“The Practice Diary felt a lot more “special” than our usual notebook. [My 9 year old pupils] liked the timetable. They wanted to take notes in the lesson themselves (never used to want to do that in the previous book)! “ (Piano Teacher, Essex)


In developing this book, I received a number of requests. Here are some of the features that were added or changed as a result of teacher feedback:

  • “Flexible space/ More manuscript paper” - I created ‘Flexi-stave’ paper. Lines can be used to write text or musical notation. This book doesn’t have the squared paper seen in the trial.

  • “Circle of Fifths/Keyboard picture and stave” - added!

  • “Music theory basics” - added!

  • “More lesson pages” - added. This book lasts for 40 lessons.

  • “Sticker Chart” - added!

  • “Larger chart” - the practice chart has been turned sideways, to take up an A4 space, so children can easily write or draw pictures in it.

  • “Targets” page - added!

  • “More musical vocab” - added! One new word and picture for each weekly practice chart.

I was very impressed with the diary and think it adds a fun side to practice! It may even help them to do more at home! (Piano Teacher - Kent

I’d like to say one last big THANK YOU to all the teachers who helped during the testing and feedback process. I really hope I’ve created something that will work for you as well as it has for me!

To buy the book, or view full details and sample pages, click here.