Music Your Child (or YOU!) Will Love to Learn

As students become more proficient musicians, a key way to motivate them to continue learning and to encourage their independence is to find music they enjoy learning and performing. This continues to build their confidence and skills — and it’s fun! Continue reading “Music Your Child (or YOU!) Will Love to Learn”

How Being A Church Musician Has Made Me A Better Pianist.

I started playing piano for church when I was just a 2nd grader. Our kind and lovely church organist, herself an experienced church musician, asked if I would be willing to play a song for offering. I don’t remember the name of the piece. I know it was something from my hot pink Alfred method book and that I was really scared. I’m sure I made lots of mistakes and that those few minutes weren’t particularly meditative for the congregation. Continue reading “How Being A Church Musician Has Made Me A Better Pianist.”

Note-Naming Apps: My Favorite Four

When it comes to reading music, knowing the note names is kind of a big deal.

Because I work with a lot of beginners, I’ve also realized how quickly students can regress in their note recognition abilities. If a 1st-year-student takes the entire month of July off from lessons and practicing, or fails to practice in between weekly lessons for a stretch, their frustration at not recognizing notes they once were able to read easily is palpable. Continue reading “Note-Naming Apps: My Favorite Four”

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 Piano with a Perfectionist.

When I had just turned 5, my mom gave me a jump rope. I attempted to actually JUMP ROPE with it, but could not quite master the art of skillfully whipping the rope around at the exact time needed to jump over it without tripping on it. The way she tells the story, I gave it a few tries, became frustrated, and threw a tantrum because I couldn’t do it.

Then my mom signed me up for piano lessons. Continue reading “Practicing Piano with a Perfectionist.”

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.”

Why Start With Piano Lessons?

So you’re thinking about starting your child with music lessons. If you’ve started to ask around about which instrument to start with, you’ve likely heard the piano recommended pretty strongly. Why start with piano lessons?

I’m a piano teacher so I realize I might be a little biased. However, in my own studies and in talking to the pediatricians, psychiatrists and school teachers in my children’s lives, I have learned that piano is often what they recommend as well. Continue reading “Why Start With Piano Lessons?”

Musical Gifts Ideas.

I used to be the kind of organized person that purchased all my Christmas gifts by Halloween. That short-lived “Organized Mom” stint is no more, and now I’m grateful for the Amazon Prime Membership that allows me to order gifts as late as December 22nd and still have them arrive on time for Christmas.

As a piano teacher, it is probably no shock to you that I love to surround my kids with toys and space that encourage music making. Musical toys also boost cognitive skills, provide continuous learning opportunities and support gross and fine motor skills. Continue reading “Musical Gifts Ideas.”

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.”