The Most Common Piano Practice Mistake.

Here is a little secret for you that might not surprise you too much: your child’s piano teacher can tell if he practiced.

It usually takes about 15 seconds. Sometimes, it only takes about 4 seconds. I watch a student struggle to find her starting hand position and it becomes clear that she is looking at her music for the very first time since her last lesson. Continue reading “The Most Common Piano Practice Mistake.”

4 Secret Ways to Practice Piano…Without A Piano

My mom always tells the story of how she signed me up for piano lessons at such a young age because I was a perfectionist. If something didn’t come easily to me, I became frustrated and ridiculously upset. It was when she watched me try to jump rope for the first time and sob hysterically at the fact that I couldn’t do it that she realized I needed to learn that not everything comes instantly. Sometimes you have to work for it. Continue reading “4 Secret Ways to Practice Piano…Without A Piano”

Five Things to Do Before Your Child’s First Piano Lesson.

You’ve done it! You’ve scheduled your child’s first piano lesson!

Before my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, there were a lot of things we did to prepare. I met her teacher (and tried not to cry as I hounded her with question after question). We went to the store and purchased school supplies and the same Elsa backpack that every other girl in school had. I deposited money into her lunch account and read The Kissing Hand. We did all these things because the first day of school is new and exciting and a bit scary. We wanted her to feel as confident and comfortable as possible in a new environment.

I realize sending your child off to her first piano lesson isn’t quite as big of a deal. However, there are still some things that you can do to help ensure a successful experience — for the first piano lesson and beyond. Continue reading “Five Things to Do Before Your Child’s First Piano Lesson.”

What to Look For In A Piano Teacher.

I blog a lot about making a careful match between your child and his piano teacher. It’s because I SO strongly feel that being thoughtful in this match sets the foundation for a lifelong love of learning and allows your child to be successful at his instrument. Continue reading “What to Look For In A Piano Teacher.”

What Kind of Piano Should I Buy?

When parents are thinking about getting a child started with piano lessons, they often approach me and ask, “What kind of piano should I buy?”

Buying a piano is KIND OF A BIG DEAL.

It’s not like buying, say, a harmonica. A piano purchase is an investment and it takes up a lot of room. It’s the kind of thing where you’ll rearrange furniture to accommodate it. Continue reading “What Kind of Piano Should I Buy?”

When Can My Child Start Piano Lessons?

As a piano teacher, the number one question I often received from parents who are interested in lessons is: When can my child start piano lessons?

I have known many fantastic colleagues who have set rules about when they will take a student. Some have policies in place where they only take students at age 7. Others will only take children who can read. One teacher told me only when the child can sit still for thirty minutes (good luck!).

I completely understand having these types of rules. But, I also think that if we set too many limits on when a child is the magical age, we limit the child’s ability to access an early love of music. Continue reading “When Can My Child Start Piano Lessons?”

Find A Good Piano Teacher For Your Child.

It’s that time of year where my voicemail and inbox are filled with queries from parents looking for a piano teacher for their students. As a mom myself, I completely understand how important it is to make a careful match. Your child’s musical progression depends largely on what happens at home between lessons. However, so much of their overall love and desire to create music has a lot to do with their teacher. It’s so important to find a good piano teacher for your child. Continue reading “Find A Good Piano Teacher For Your Child.”

Piano Tuning and Maintenance.

If you are blessed to have an acoustic piano in your home, it is essential that you know about piano tuning! Having it tuned regularly not only keeps the value from diminishing but also helps you develop your musical ear.

I once had a student who by all counts was practicing EVERY single day. Yet at her lessons, she was struggling to read the notes. In discussion with her mom, I found out that her piano was terribly out of tune. My student was confused as to why her music sounded so different when she played it on an “in tune” piano at lesson time!

Once the tuner made it to her house, everything clicked into place. Continue reading “Piano Tuning and Maintenance.”

Ideas to Get Your Child to Practice Piano.

As a mom and a piano teacher, I constantly am faced with motivating students to practice. Many parents of students will call or e-mail with the age-old question: “How do you get your child to practice piano?”

If you have a child at home that you are constantly battling with over practicing, here are some tips that I’ve picked up through the years. Continue reading “Ideas to Get Your Child to Practice Piano.”

Raise A Musical Child.

It’s probably not news to you that music is really good for your child.  It enhances all forms of learning, and it seems as though there’s always a new study being released on how it makes kids smarter, benefits brain development, etc. So what are some ways that we as parents can give our children access to all these benefits and raise a musical child?

Here are a few ideas from this piano teacher and mom. Continue reading “Raise A Musical Child.”