February Member of the Month

Meet the DiAntonio family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marabeth and Bernie have four adult children who have already flown the coop, Meg is married with a daughter of her own, Nicole, Brian and Joe. At home they have have Shane who is 18 and a senior in high school, Michael who is 9, Boriana who is also 9, Maggie  who is 8 and John who is 6.

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What’s your musical background?

I [Marabeth] took piano lessons in early elementary school and also played the clarinet in the school band from 4th to 9th grades. I wasn’t very good but remember how to read music decently and continued to play piano for fun every once in awhile.

Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?

We are a blended and adoptive family. When Bernie and I were married in 2010 we were both single parents; he had 4 kids and I had 1. In 2011, Mike was born and  Maggie was born in 2012. Both Boriana and John were born in Bulgaria and joined our family in 2018. It sounds like a lot of kids but we have only had 3-5 of them living at home at any one time! Mike and Boriana were both born with Down Syndrome and John has cerebral palsy. After Mike was born, we learned that there are many children around the world with Down Syndrome and other disabilities who need families, which led to Boriana and John becoming part of ours.

How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
Only Maggie is learning piano right now. She started homeschooling this year which makes finding time for practice and lessons much easier. She usually practices every “school” day for a short time right after breakfast. I let her know when to move on in lessons and weave them into the school day. Right now she is doing 1 lesson every week or so but there has been periods where she moved along slower  because we were busy or she needed a lot of practice before moving ahead.
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How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?

We actually did Carly’s Nutcracker Camp before we even had a piano (which I saw scrolling through Facebook) and that put me on the email list. When we finally got a piano I started trying to teach Maggie myself from lesson books but that was difficult so we decided to try Busy Kids. I think we are coming up on two years using Busy Kids in May and we are very happy with the program!

Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?

Maggie is the only one in the family doing piano lessons and also the only one homeschooling so she does her practice and lessons while her siblings are at school. This year, Maggie has been giving “lessons” to her brother and sister when they get home from school. It cracks me up to hear her tell them the same things I tell her when she practices!

What is your goal with having your child learn to play the piano?Just to have fun and learn stuff! I think learning to read music and basic music theory is really helpful to know. Even if piano ends up not being her thing she may want to learn a different instrument or it can help with singing. Or it may be something she can enjoy doing for the rest of her life. 

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January Member of the Month

Meet Josh and Chelsea and their three children Naomi, 9 years old,   Jonah, 7 years old, and Aiden, 5 years old. They are from Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only are the kids part of the Busy Kids program, but Mom is too!

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Q: What’s your musical background?

My husband and I [Chelsea] both played an instrument in junior high and can read music, but neither of us have natural musical talent, nor pursued learning beyond the basics. However, we both have siblings and parents who are talented musicians and want our children to have the opportunity to develop basic music skills to see if they love playing music as much as some of their extended family does!

Q: Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?

While Josh and I were raised in the midwest, we have lived in LA (where Naomi and Jonah were born) and Colorado (where Aiden was born), and we love to return to those places when able, as well as travel to new places as time, resources and safety allow! We have also been a foster family for the past 5 years, so the number of children in our family fluctuates between three and five as other children join our family for the season that they need to and then often return home to their families.

Q: How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?

Since we homeschool, piano is part of their daily checklist for school. Once they feel like they are ready for the next lesson we go over the end of lesson checklist and “perform” the songs from that lesson for whoever is around at the moment, and then the next day they’ll go on to a new lesson. Each child definitely works at their own pace based on difficulty of lesson/determination. One of our children easily goes throughs two lessons a week when motivated, and another typically takes two weeks to get comfortable with the new information and songs. By making it a part of their daily checklist for school, we all feel less pressure to be making quick progress through the lessons and staying on a tight schedule of lessons v. practice. 

Q: How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?

I did some research for online piano lessons and was amazed at the cost of Busy Kids Do Piano! When you considered paying for three individual lessons a week, four times a month, this was such a great deal! I had my older two children (who were 5 & 7 at the time) watch her sample lesson to see how they engaged/followed along and it went well, and then I saw that Carly offered a Busy Moms course as well and I was sold! I am sloooowly making my way through the Back in the Saddle course. 

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Q: Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?

I just love how proud the kids are when they learn a new song, especially one they already knew how to sing. We bought a couple Christmas song books this year and they have each loved learning different Christmas songs and play them for their friends and family over Facetime whenever they get the chance!

Q: What is your goal with having your child learn to play the piano?

Our goal is for them to learn basic music skills/theory, as well as hopefully instill a love for playing music. We also love that it teachers perseverance!

December Members of the Month

Meet the Woods Family from the western suburbs of Chicago!  Darla and husband, Darnell have four daughters, Anayah 10, Kenzie 6, Teagan 4, and Tessa 2. Four years ago, they took an epic road trip from Illinois covering Texas, California, Nevada, and Colorado. They have plans to travel as much as possible when it can be done safely again!
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Continue reading “December Members of the Month”

Help Your Piano Student Focus

Have you ever sat down with your child or a piano student for a lesson or practice and he’s had “ants in his pants”?

Sometimes students may have a diagnosed disorder such as ADHD or ASD, and other times — kids just have busy brains and busy bodies and need some guidance focusing.

Here are three ways to help a busy kiddo get focused for piano practice. Continue reading “Help Your Piano Student Focus”

June Member of the Month

Meet the Daniel family Philemon and Betty and their daughters Aviya, who is seven years old and Micah, who is two years old. They live on the beautiful foothills of the great Himalayas in a small town called Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India.

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Philemon teaches Electronics Engineering at National Institute of Technology Hamirpur. They live within the university campus, the campus that received the most beautiful campus in India award in 2016. Betty is a homemaker and an excellent baker. She specializes in eggless recipes to serve our neighbours. Continue reading “June Member of the Month”

May Members of the Month

Meet the Mumma family from Jackson, Wyoming! Matt and Sara have four children 11-year-old Owen,  10-year- old twins Adelyn and Anabel and 7-year-old Noelle.

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What’s your musical background?

I, Sara, have had almost no musical training before starting this program. The only musical training I had was a couple of months of playing the recorder along with my fourth-grade class, and a musical appreciation course in college, which to me was like entering an upper level foreign language class with no previous exposure. It was a wonder I passed at all, as none of it ever made sense. My now husband took that class with me, and as he asked me out for the first time as we walked back to the dorms from that class, I can’t say it was completely useless. It was however always a dream of mine to be able to play piano and I started taking the Busy Moms course as my children started the Busy Kids course. I had always thought that my lack of musical knowledge was due to a lack of talent, and while I would not say I am musically talented, I realized that my lack of knowledge was actually due to a lack of instruction. It was incredible to me the first time I played Yankee Doodle, and someone actually recognized the song. I had made music! Learning to play the piano along with my children has enabled me not only to help them succeed, but motivate me to continue learning. Continue reading “May Members of the Month”

Meet Our Team: The Folks Behind Busy People Do Piano

Whether you’ve been an e-mail subscriber or perhaps a student of one of my online courses, chances are that you’ve interacted with me (Carly) — the creator of Busy Moms and Busy Kids Do Piano and seen my face in all those lesson videos – hah!

But I am not the only person running the show. While there have been others along the way who have helped me with certain projects — creating my site or assisting during a webinar — there are two constants who have been by my side for years now. They make our community so special and I am constantly grateful for them. Continue reading “Meet Our Team: The Folks Behind Busy People Do Piano”

The Baroque Period: Lesson 3

This lesson is part 3 of 4 that I’ve released on the Baroque period of music. These lessons are a part of my online course, Busy Kids Do Music History.

Find Lesson 1 of the Baroque Period series here

Find Lesson 2 of the Baroque Period series here

Find Lesson 4 of the Baroque Period series here

In the last lesson, we learned about how Baroque style influenced the way instruments were used and music sounded during the Baroque years.

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at 3 of the most famous Baroque composers. We’ll learn about who their patrons were, what kind of music they wrote, and even some fun or quirky things you may not have known about them.

Continue reading “The Baroque Period: Lesson 3”

Favorite Piano Lesson Tutorials

I’ve been creating video piano lesson tutorials  for my online piano lessons for almost 5 years. In that time, we’ve created hundreds and hundreds of videos. Some tutorials teach the very basics of playing piano. Others are for more advanced pieces. Some are show tunes or the latest Disney song that your child is singing on repeat.

While these lessons are set up in my online memberships in a very structured way — with printable materials and theory worksheets — I also share a lot of them at no cost. If you’re following me on Facebook (or YouTube) chances are you’ve watched a few of these free piano lesson tutorials.

Because I have SO MANY piano lesson tutorials available to you, I thought I’d make them easier to find. In this post, you’ll find them categorized — with the link to view them on my Facebook page — below. Continue reading “Favorite Piano Lesson Tutorials”