July Members of the Month

 

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!

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Q: What’s your musical background?

I [Lei-Ann] have no musical background, but have always wanted to learn when I was growing up.  My daughter Tiffany is the only one in our family with musical knowledge.  She plays the alto saxophone for her high school band.

Q: Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?

Growing up, both of our parents did not speak English and did not have the means to travel.  So we grew up not knowing much about the various beautiful places we have in this country and world.  We only saw these places in pictures and read about it in books.  Working hard to achieve our career goals, we finally reached the point where we could explore our surroundings and I wanted our children to grow up experiencing these things with us.  Since I teach, we had this big window of time to travel.  We were also fortunate that my husband’s job was extremely flexible with his schedule as well.  We began planning and going on these long summer road trips around the U.S. and Canada when our oldest daughter was seven.  Our longest trip was the summer we took Route 66 to San Diego, drove up highway 1 along the California coast, drove back on highway 80 and decided to take a detour to Minnesota to visit family, and then headed back to Michigan. The stops and experiences along the way were so memorable and educational.  Our most recent summer trip (last summer) was flying to Vancouver, Canada.  Then driving to explore Seattle, down the Oregon coast (stopping in Portland and visiting Crater Lake), and heading back to Michigan (stopping to see Mt. Rushmore, Yellow Stone, and the Badlands). We are truly blessed and grateful that we can do these things with our girls and hope that they will continue to share their experiences with their own families in the future.

Q: How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?

Loralei is the only one learning piano at this time.  Due to Covid-19, there is a lot of flexibility. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like when school begins in the Fall.  Because she is so young, her practice times are based on her mood and the length of her practice time is based on her ability to focus.  She is aware that she will have piano lessons everyday, I’m just extremely flexible with when it will take place.  There are days where I will find her going to the piano on her own and she’ll be playing some of her favorite songs from level 1 that we have bookmarked with sticky notes.

Q: How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?

    Busy Kids Do Piano was a website shared on a long list of on-line resources given to parents by her school at the beginning of the quarantine. Loralei had been asking me for a while now about piano lessons because she kept seeing ads from another source called Simply Piano. When I saw the free trial period offered by Busy Kids Do Piano, I decided to give it a try to see how Loralei would respond to learning because I didn’t want to invest unless she was serious about it.  We are now two months into piano lessons and beginning level 2.  

Q: Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?

Loralei was very self-motivated from the beginning. Each time she completed lessons for each module and learned a piece of music, her confidence would just increase dramatically. I began sharing her progress with family and friends on Facebook and their praises has motivated her even more. As the lessons become more challenging, I see her becoming more resistant to our daily piano lessons. However, she will often self-talk herself to continue learning because she wants to make her teacher (Carly) proud of her. When she is bored, I will often see her at her piano playing an old piece we’ve sticky note as one of her favorites or just playing random notes for fun. Sometimes her random pieces sound quite nice.  Who knows, maybe one day she’ll compose her own music. 

Q: What is your goal with having your child learn to play the piano?

Music has so many benefits for brain development and is the main reason I have for motivating my daughter to learn piano (or any instrument).  My goal for Loralei is to continually learn piano and for her to take it as far as she wants to take it; using her knowledge to play for enjoyment, teach others, or maybe one day playing professionally.

June Member of the Month

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.

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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”

May Members of the Month

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.

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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”

Meet Our Team: The Folks Behind Busy People Do Piano

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”

The Baroque Period: Lesson 3

This lesson is part 3 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.

Find Lesson 1 of the Baroque Period series here

Find Lesson 2 of the Baroque Period series here

Find Lesson 4 of the Baroque Period series here

In the last lesson, we learned about how Baroque style influenced the way instruments were used and music sounded during the Baroque years.

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at 3 of the most famous Baroque composers. We’ll learn about who their patrons were, what kind of music they wrote, and even some fun or quirky things you may not have known about them.

Continue reading “The Baroque Period: Lesson 3”

Favorite Piano Lesson Tutorials

I’ve been creating video piano lesson tutorials  for my online piano lessons for almost 5 years. In that time, we’ve created hundreds and hundreds of videos. Some tutorials teach the very basics of playing piano. Others are for more advanced pieces. Some are show tunes or the latest Disney song that your child is singing on repeat.

While these lessons are set up in my online memberships in a very structured way — with printable materials and theory worksheets — I also share a lot of them at no cost. If you’re following me on Facebook (or YouTube) chances are you’ve watched a few of these free piano lesson tutorials.

Because I have SO MANY piano lesson tutorials available to you, I thought I’d make them easier to find. In this post, you’ll find them categorized — with the link to view them on my Facebook page — below. Continue reading “Favorite Piano Lesson Tutorials”

Teaching Rhythm to Piano Students

Whether I’m having my first in-person piano lesson with a new student or a student is logging in to view their first piano lesson in my online program, that student will be learning the same concept: rhythm.

Teaching rhythm is SUCH an important part of being a piano teacher. There’s an underlying theoretical — really, mathematical — understanding that needs to happen. But, I also have to help my students “feel” rhythm. Continue reading “Teaching Rhythm to Piano Students”

July Members of the Month

 

Meet Andrew and Amy Cook family from Fort Campbell, KY. They have four wonderful children: Hannah, who is 12 years old, Katelyn, who is 11 years old, Sara, who is 9 years olds and Audrey, who is 7 years old. Like many of our Busy Families they are a military and homeschooling family.

Continue reading “July Members of the 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”