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”
Meet John, Yiching, and Alex, who is six years old. This musical family resides near Salt Lake City, Utah. When this musical family isn’t busy working hard at their coffee shop/roastery they are having piano raffles to make practice fun! Continue reading “November Member of the Month”
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”
Meet Chai and Lei-Ann from Michigan! They have four daughters Nicolette who is 26, Tiffany who is 16, Annaliese who is 13, and Loralei who turned 7 June 30th. Happy Birthday Loralei!
Continue reading “July Members of the Month”
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”
Meet the Daniel family Philemon and Betty and their daughters Aviya, who is seven years old and Micah, who is two years old. They live on the beautiful foothills of the great Himalayas in a small town called Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Philemon teaches Electronics Engineering at National Institute of Technology Hamirpur. They live within the university campus, the campus that received the most beautiful campus in India award in 2016. Betty is a homemaker and an excellent baker. She specializes in eggless recipes to serve our neighbours. Continue reading “June Member of the Month”
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”
Meet the Mumma family from Jackson, Wyoming! Matt and Sara have four children 11-year-old Owen, 10-year- old twins Adelyn and Anabel and 7-year-old Noelle.
What’s your musical background?
I, Sara, have had almost no musical training before starting this program. The only musical training I had was a couple of months of playing the recorder along with my fourth-grade class, and a musical appreciation course in college, which to me was like entering an upper level foreign language class with no previous exposure. It was a wonder I passed at all, as none of it ever made sense. My now husband took that class with me, and as he asked me out for the first time as we walked back to the dorms from that class, I can’t say it was completely useless. It was however always a dream of mine to be able to play piano and I started taking the Busy Moms course as my children started the Busy Kids course. I had always thought that my lack of musical knowledge was due to a lack of talent, and while I would not say I am musically talented, I realized that my lack of knowledge was actually due to a lack of instruction. It was incredible to me the first time I played Yankee Doodle, and someone actually recognized the song. I had made music! Learning to play the piano along with my children has enabled me not only to help them succeed, but motivate me to continue learning. Continue reading “May Members of the Month”