Children’s Books for African-American Music Appreciation Month

One of my favorite ways to explore music with my kids is by combining music samples and children’s books. My children love learning more about their favorite musical artists through a colorful book about them. Sometimes reading a book has piqued their curiosity, and gets us checking out new artists on Spotify. Continue reading “Children’s Books for African-American Music Appreciation Month”

Musical Symbols

Learning to play an instrument is not unlike learning to speak a new language. It’s important to listen, follow the rhythm, understand new vocabulary and structure. Repetition and practice are not just helpful but necessary. Continue reading “Musical Symbols”

African American Music Appreciation Month: Nina Simone

Since 1979, the month of June is recognized as African-American Music Appreciation Month. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the music of black musicians, singers and songwriters. Continue reading “African American Music Appreciation Month: Nina Simone”

Building Strength and Finger Independence

If you’ve ever watched an accomplished pianist play, you may have been amazed at the way her fingers moved quickly across the keys — even when playing a complicated piece of music. It looks so easy, doesn’t it?

If you are working with a younger beginner, however, chances are you’ve realized that there’s a lot of work that goes into building that kind of strength and dexterity in a person’s fingers! Your student may become easily frustrated when trying to play each note one-at-a-time, with a different finger. It might seem impossible for a 5-year-old to keep his fingers round and firm while striking a piano key. Continue reading “Building Strength and Finger Independence”

Preparing for A Piano Recital

Your student is preparing for a piano recital. You’re probably thinking, “Well, she’ll have to practice a lot!”

That’s sort of true. However, getting ready for a piano recital involves a bit more of a strategy than just additional practice. Continue reading “Preparing for A Piano Recital”

May Member of the Month

Meet the Martin  family from Kincardine, Ontario, Canada a small town on the shore of Lake Huron.  Pastor Brian and wife Heather have three children Liberty who is 8 years old, Caleb  who is 7 years old, and Elijah who is 2 years old.

What’s your musical background?

Continue reading “May Member of the Month”

Pacing Piano Lessons: Is My Student Ready for the Next Lesson?

One thing that is unique to online piano lessons is that while I teach all the concepts, music and theory in the program, I do rely on parents to help in pacing the program for the student. I have parent guides and checklists to help with this, but I want parents to feel completely comfortable when it comes to answering the question, “Is my child ready for the next piano lesson?” Continue reading “Pacing Piano Lessons: Is My Student Ready for the Next Lesson?”

March Members of the Month

Meet Yenson, Fabienne, and their daughters Eva age 7 and Matilda age 3. They are from a lovely village in Cheshire not too far from Manchester in England. Eva is student in the Busy Kids Program while her mom, Fabienne is part of the Busy Moms program and just recently Matilda has tried out the preschooler program! Continue reading “March Members of the Month”

Women in Music

Because March is Women’s History Month, let’s take a moment to learn about and celebrate five great women in music history.

Nora Holt (1885-1974)

Nora Holt was born in Kansas City. She was the first African American in the United States to receive a master’s degree in music.  Singing at night clubs and parties in Paris, Monte Carlo and London, she was known as a free-spirited socialite of the Harlem Renaissance. She co-founded the National Association of Negro Musicians and worked as a music critic for the black newspaper, Chicago Defender. Continue reading “Women in Music”

January Member of the Month

Meet the Dauenhauer Family of 8 from Texas! Dustin, DorothyAnne, Aidan (12), Aliyah (10), Daniel (8), Liam (5), Evan (2) and Avery (2mo). This Busy Family loves travel, baseball and shopping! Busy student Aidan is enjoying lessons and has even composed a song with his mom!
Continue reading “January Member of the Month”