In my years of teaching piano, one thing I consistently encounter is a student who is more confident reading notes in the treble clef (right hand) than the bass clef (left hand). And since many of us are right-hand dominant, it makes sense that playing with the right hand would feel easier and therefore more comfortable. Many students end up with weaker bass clef familiarity and improving this is the goal of the November Music Challenge Monthly. Continue reading “Name the Notes: Bass Clef Edition”
The classic game BINGO is a classic for a reason. From kids’ birthday parties to Tuesday nights at the senior center, the game appeals to all ages, in all seasons. I simply had to incorporate it into our Music Challenge Monthly series — a Back-To-School version for September — where I try to offer fun ways to teach supplemental piano theory to your students. Continue reading “Back-to-School Bingo”
Have you ever performed at a recital, whether in school or for some private lessons you were taking? I have spent countless hours at recitals, both as a student, and as a piano teacher. Some kids are really nervous when it comes to performing. Others shine in the spotlight. I remember feeling my fingers tremble a few times as I picked out which notes to play while my friends, family, and teacher silently watched. I made mistakes. I played beautiful pieces from memory. And I’ve been the silent onlooker, watching kids perform at every level. Continue reading “Host A Spring Piano Recital”
In my early years of learning piano and music theory, never once was I taught about a female composer. We’ve all heard about the greats – all male composers – but this month, for Music Challenge Monthly, I wanted to get students thinking about why there simply aren’t many notable female composers in history. Since March is Women’s History Month, I thought it was a great opportunity to explore this gender inequity and bring into focus the handful of women who did manage to make their mark in music, though the odds were certainly against them.
Meet the Johnson family from the hills of Perth, Western Australia. Clara is 11, Caleb is 9, Camden is 4, and Piper is one.
What’s your musical background?
Mum (Jill) is a dancer and Uncle Glenn is the keyboardist/guitarist of a popular band in Australia.
Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?
We live in the hills of Perth, Western Australia
It’s beautiful because we enjoy the native animals sharing the space around us.
How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
The children play the piano daily and record/tick off our family diary. We use the word ‘play’ rather than practice because…playing the piano is fun❣️
How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?
Finding out about Busy Kids/Moms do Piano was the best thing ever🤗🤗🤗
I can never thank Social Media enough for giving us this opportunity to discover this wonderful family – BUSY KIDS/MOMS DO PIANO❣️
Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?
We feel an attachment to Carly that is unexplainable. She is so amazing💞
Her program has given the children more than knowledge of playing an instrument. They have grown in confidence. Carly is such a multitalented person who has made a tremendous difference in the children’s lives. They never show any disinterest or dislike when it’s time to play the piano.
What is your goal with having your child learn to play the piano?
We are constantly surrounded by music. Learning the piano, in my opinion, is the best foundation to learning all other instruments…like learning ballet is the best foundation for learning all other dance genres. This is my personal opinion.
Finally, being part of the Busy Kids/Moms do Piano family has been the best decision our family has made.
Thank you Carly❣️❣️❣️
Meet LaNise and her 11 year old daughter Erelyn-Marie from Columbus, Ohio. They are a thrill seeking mother-daughter duo who spend their summers riding rollercoasters at Cedar Point the roller coaster capital of the world!
Q: What’s your musical background?
I [LaNise] don’t have any musical background but Erelyn has been playing piano since she was 4 years old. I’ve learned music along with her but do not play.
Q: Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?
We love riding roller coasters together. Every Summer we take multiple trips to Cedar Point [the roller coaster capital of the world] and ride as many as possible in a day or two.
Q: How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
Erelyn practices almost every day usually after dinner time. She doesn’t always do a lesson though. Sometimes it’s just a song she’s learning for church.
The only tip I can offer: To keep her motivated, I let her pick a gift she wants at the end of each week if she has practiced a certain number of days. Nothing big, maybe a fast food run or something from the dollar store.
Q: How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?
I saw an ad on Facebook and watched the free lesson.
Q: Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?
When Erelyn first started piano, she was 4 and caught on very easily. She progressed much faster than expected and she loved learning something new each lesson. She’s played in a few recitals and now plays the accompaniment for our kids choir at church. She did have about a year of not playing when her piano teacher moved away so after being out of practice it took some motivating to get her back in the practice mood again but, she’s bounced back tremendously.
Q: What is your goal with having your child learn to play the piano?
I’d like her to want to play piano for fun but also so she can be a help in our church one day.
A few weeks ago, a parent reached out to me to let me know that she was struggling to find piano and music resources that represented her Black son. She wondered if I might have any resources where he could see himself represented.
It’s beneficial for children to see racial mirrors. They need role models, inspiration and validation. It’s also important that children who are white or from homogenous populations see others who don’t look like them represented. Not only does it reduce stereotypes and biases but it also give a more accurate window into the real world.
The music education world — myself included — has a long way to go when it comes to racial representation. I am committed to doing better (and always open to feedback). Within my paid courses — both in the content and the images — I work to include diverse representation.
I also have lots of free materials that are available to music students everywhere. Here is a current round-up of free resources from my own music education materials that represent non-white musicians. Continue reading “Representation in Music”
Meet John, Yiching, and Alex, who is six years old. This musical family resides near Salt Lake City, Utah. When this musical family isn’t busy working hard at their coffee shop/roastery they are having piano raffles to make practice fun! Continue reading “November Member of the Month”
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”