I remember when my son was learning to read. It was a pretty painful process of going over the two- and three-letter words on his reading list very, very slowly. If you’ve ever witnessed a child learning to read, then you know what I’m saying here. For a countless number of times, you listen to them sound out each letter in c-a-t, and suddenly, one day, they read, “cat.”
The same is true for reading music. It feels like your student may never reach the point of music-reading fluency, until one day it starts to click. This month, I’ve created the first in a new series of activities we’re calling Music Challenge Monthly. The January challenge addresses this very thing: the skills involved in music literacy. ￼ Continue reading “Identifying Intervals – January’s Music Challenge Monthly”
While this blog is typically a place where I share musical resources and piano practice tips, one of my most popular blog posts to date has been from last year when I shared the curriculum and approach I use to homeschooling our [then] 6th grade daughter
. As we head into her 7th grade year, I thought I would do a similar post where I give you a peek into our homeschooling set-up for the year.
Continue reading “A Peek At Our Homeschool (7th Grade Edition)”
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”
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”
Covid 19 has been a major bummer. There’s no way around it. Our family loves attending outdoor concerts and performances during the summer months. As we head into the July, we are missing it very much.
I have, however, loved seeing how musicians are coming together to share performances using digital platforms. Lockdown concerts from the talented Kanneh-Mason family have been a wonderful treat. A friend of mine who used to work for the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra put together an evening of music on Zoom, with musicians and vocalists from all over the country participating in sharing music. Yo-Yo Ma’s collaborations that he shares on his Facebook page always bring my family joy.
Continue reading “A Piano Recital During a Pandemic”
In the past, I’ve written about how piano practice shouldn’t be structured by requiring a specific length of practice time. A student who is required to practice for 30 minutes a day, for example, won’t necessarily make steady progress in his piano abilities.
So how, then, should a piano practice be structured? How can you ensure that piano practice will mark forward progress? Continue reading “What Should Piano Practice Include?”
When we think about African American music, we tend to think about spirituals, jazz and gospel genres. To be sure, these are genres that have been created and shaped by Black composers and musicians. However, something we often overlook is Black classical music and Black classical composers.
Though I have been trained in classical music my entire life and studied music in college, I never heard names such as William Grant Still or Florence Price until recently. Many Black composers have been largely absent from the study of classical music. Let’s take a moment to learn about three of these brilliant composers and their contributions to classical music.
Continue reading “Black Classical Composers”
This blog is typically a place where I share musical resources and piano practice tips. I thought I would do something a little bit different in this post, and share with you a peek into our homeschool world.
This coming fall, I will be homeschooling my oldest daughter again for her 6th grade year. We take what is called an eclectic approach to homeschooling. This means we don’t follow one set philosophy such as Classical or Charlotte Mason. It also means we don’t use one boxed curriculum that overs every subject. Instead, I have picked out parts from different homeschooling resources that I believe best fit my daughter’s personality and interests. Continue reading “A Peek At Our Homeschool”
This lesson is part 4 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. Today’s lesson will review everything we’ve learned so far in the series!
To view Lesson 1, click here.
To view Lesson 2, click here.
To view Lesson 3, click here.
The creation of Baroque music was driven by the patron — the church and the wealthy.
Music was a display of wealth, talent and all things fancy. New musical forms rose in popularity, and composers of the time produced hundreds of compositions for their patrons.
Let’s review what we learned about the Baroque era of music and composers! Continue reading “The Baroque Period: Lesson 4”
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”