Careers in Music

I believe piano lessons are important because learning a musical instrument has all sorts of fantastic cognitive and emotional benefits. I also believe piano lessons are important simply for the sake of learning to play a musical instrument — for adding richness, beauty and balance into a child’s life. Continue reading “Careers in Music”

Taking Kids to the Symphony

Taking kids to the symphony is a really awesome opportunity to help them understand how relevant learning an instrument is while also gain appreciation for musicians, musical instruments and different musical styles.

I often share in my livecasts and on my blog posts how important it is to nurture love and appreciation for music in your child. What better way to do this than through a live musical performance by excellent musicians? Continue reading “Taking Kids to the Symphony”

Piano Practice Motivator: Music Appreciation

Parents of piano students are always asking me for my best “piano practice motivator” ideas.

My number one go-to?

Music appreciation.

In this livecast, I’m going to give you TONS of actionable ways that you can help your student to develop an understanding of why learning to play the piano is a privilege. Continue reading “Piano Practice Motivator: Music Appreciation”

Brain Breaks for Piano Practice

When my daughter was in kindergarten, I often volunteered in her classroom. Upon my first visit, I was struck by a brilliant concept I had never heard of or experienced: brain breaks. Continue reading “Brain Breaks for Piano Practice”

Piano Practice Tricks That Will Change Your Life

I sometimes feel as though I can’t come up with another way to motivate my strong-willed child to practice. I’ve tried all the piano practice tricks. I’m out of creativity.

Or maybe you have a wiggly worm who can’t sit still longer than a few minutes and you aren’t sure how to get anything accomplished.

Or maybe you have a perfectionist who becomes immediately frustrated when she makes her first mistake during piano practice. Continue reading “Piano Practice Tricks That Will Change Your Life”

Creating a Piano Practice Space

When a parent of a student calls me and says, “Johnny is really resistant to piano practice lately,” the first question I ask is, “Where is your piano located?”

More often than not, I’ll learn that a student’s piano is located in a cold, damp basement or in their bedroom, leading the student to feel like he’s “missing out on the action” when he goes to practice piano.

This doesn’t mean your piano practice space needs to be a Pinterest worthy room of expensive decor and laminated practice charts.

What SHOULD a piano practice space look like? Read on for my tips… Continue reading “Creating a Piano Practice Space”

Royal Wedding: THE MUSIC!

I know I typically use my blog to share valuable practicing tips, musical resources and all kinds of super important stuff with readers.

Today I’m blogging about the music from the Royal Wedding.

While this might seem a bit “off-topic” for me, I actually think using real life moments and events to draw musical connections is an awesome and exciting way for kids to learn. And there was so much great music in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding that I simply HAD to make it a teachable moment! Continue reading “Royal Wedding: THE MUSIC!”

Adding Games to Your Musical Learning

A few months ago I surveyed students in my online programs to ask what topic they wanted me to discuss on my Facebook Live broadcasts. I was expecting it to be something about practicing strategies, but overwhelmingly, they chose the topic of “Adding Games to Musical Learning.”

THIS is my specialty! I love making piano lessons and practicing fun, interactive and playful.

Watch the video below for some ideas to add practicing and theory games to your piano routine. Continue reading “Adding Games to Your Musical Learning”

Piano Lessons CAN Be Fun.

Sometimes a piano parent will surprise me by sharing a really negative experience or association with piano lessons.

“My teacher used to yell at me all the time if I didn’t get something right.”

“My teacher insisted on hour long lessons when I was 5-years-old and it was so difficult for me to sit still I would end up in tears.”

“Piano lessons were just so serious.”

There are many students who thrive with intensive study under strict, no nonsense teachers. Continue reading “Piano Lessons CAN Be Fun.”

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”