Piano Practice Rewards: Why and How to Do Them

If the idea of piano practice rewards causes you to cringe, let me tell you a story.

I once had a piano student who was incredibly bright and had so much potential as a pianist. When she first started lessons with me, she was excited about how easily things were coming to her and practiced ALL THE TIME. As a result, she progressed quickly and was confident in her abilities.

As she progressed, things became more challenging, and she grew frustrated. Rather than working through the frustrations between her lessons with me, she resisted practicing. After a few weeks of having what seemed like an identical piano lesson to the last as we worked through challenges in her music, I called her mom to ask how practicing was going at home. Continue reading “Piano Practice Rewards: Why and How to Do Them”

Summer Time Piano Practice.

Many students have a much-needed and well-deserved break from school during the summer months.

With summer on the horizon, perhaps you’ve also noticed that there are many “SUMMER READING CHALLENGES” around. I’ve seen them at our local bookstores, library and even McDonald’s. My own kids love these summer reading challenges and are super motivated to plow through books and keep track of their reading in order to earn free books, movie tickets or Happy Meals. Continue reading “Summer Time Piano Practice.”

8 Reasons to Learn Piano Composition.

Anyone can learn piano composition.

Perhaps the idea of composing a song might seem really intimidating or mind-boggling to you. Would it surprise you to know that I’ve had students as young as 4-years-old compose their own original (and delightful!) pieces?

If the idea of composing a piano piece seems impossible, think of the pride that comes whenever you create something unique. Maybe you had this feeling when you painted your kitchen cabinets or wrote an article that was published. Perhaps you were super proud of  the beautiful birthday party you hosted or the delicious dinner you made. Continue reading “8 Reasons to Learn Piano Composition.”

Practicing With A Metronome: A Love-Hate Relationship.

Did you play a musical instrument as a child? If so, chances are that you have not-so-fond memories of practicing with a metronome.metronomeAh yes, the metronome.

My favorite teacher whom I love dearly always had me practicing with a metronome. Like all the time. I had to play my warm-up scales, arpeggios, chords and Hanon exercises with this ticking. It accompanied me during the “middle” learning stage of each and every sonatina. Continue reading “Practicing With A Metronome: A Love-Hate Relationship.”

How to Practice the Piano (Four Proven Strategies)

Let me share two different scenarios with you….

Student A practices the piano daily for 30 minutes. Her mom sets a timer. She plays through the materials her teachers assigned, but spends most of her time on the things she likes or is already good at in order to pass the time until the timer goes off. Continue reading “How to Practice the Piano (Four Proven Strategies)”

4 Ways to Be A Positive Practice Partner.

Does practicing piano with your child ever feel like a slow and painful form of punishment?

Especially if you are a pianist yourself, it can be difficult to hear your child struggling through a piece without quickly “fixing” everything for her. It might also be tempting to stop every single time you hear a mistake. In a recent post, I detailed what, exactly, your role is in practicing alongside your child. It’s so important to understand how you can set up practice sessions successfully and how to structure that time together! Continue reading “4 Ways to Be A Positive Practice Partner.”

Affordable Piano Lessons: How To Make It Happen

I am a piano teacher. I am here to tell you that piano lessons expensive. You might have even scoffed when you saw the words “affordable piano lessons” in the title of this post.

There are many reasons for this and I’m certainly not here to quibble with any of them. Piano teachers are highly skilled and trained. We offer a valuable service that involves much “behind-the-scenes” work outside of the weekly lesson. Choosing music, ordering books, attending workshops, invoicing, putting together recitals — all of these things take a great deal of time.  Continue reading “Affordable Piano Lessons: How To Make It Happen”

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.”

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.”

Adult Piano Lessons: How They Benefit Your Child

There are lots of  reasons for you to enroll in adult piano lessons.

It’s something that will build you own confidence and lead to great fulfillment. It may be something you’ve always wanted to do and can “cross off” your bucket list. Plus, it stimulates your brain – which can help with Alzheimer’s prevention.

But sometimes it can be really difficult as a mom to take on a commitment for yourself.  Maybe you feel selfish signing up for adult piano lessons, taking away time from your day that could be used to clean your house, get dinner ready or help kids with their homework. Continue reading “Adult Piano Lessons: How They Benefit Your Child”