January Member of the Month

Meet Josh and Chelsea and their three children Naomi, 9 years old,   Jonah, 7 years old, and Aiden, 5 years old. They are from Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only are the kids part of the Busy Kids program, but Mom is too!

image1

Q: What’s your musical background?

My husband and I [Chelsea] both played an instrument in junior high and can read music, but neither of us have natural musical talent, nor pursued learning beyond the basics. However, we both have siblings and parents who are talented musicians and want our children to have the opportunity to develop basic music skills to see if they love playing music as much as some of their extended family does!

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

While Josh and I were raised in the midwest, we have lived in LA (where Naomi and Jonah were born) and Colorado (where Aiden was born), and we love to return to those places when able, as well as travel to new places as time, resources and safety allow! We have also been a foster family for the past 5 years, so the number of children in our family fluctuates between three and five as other children join our family for the season that they need to and then often return home to their families.

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

Since we homeschool, piano is part of their daily checklist for school. Once they feel like they are ready for the next lesson we go over the end of lesson checklist and “perform” the songs from that lesson for whoever is around at the moment, and then the next day they’ll go on to a new lesson. Each child definitely works at their own pace based on difficulty of lesson/determination. One of our children easily goes throughs two lessons a week when motivated, and another typically takes two weeks to get comfortable with the new information and songs. By making it a part of their daily checklist for school, we all feel less pressure to be making quick progress through the lessons and staying on a tight schedule of lessons v. practice. 

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

I did some research for online piano lessons and was amazed at the cost of Busy Kids Do Piano! When you considered paying for three individual lessons a week, four times a month, this was such a great deal! I had my older two children (who were 5 & 7 at the time) watch her sample lesson to see how they engaged/followed along and it went well, and then I saw that Carly offered a Busy Moms course as well and I was sold! I am sloooowly making my way through the Back in the Saddle course. 

image0

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

I just love how proud the kids are when they learn a new song, especially one they already knew how to sing. We bought a couple Christmas song books this year and they have each loved learning different Christmas songs and play them for their friends and family over Facetime whenever they get the chance!

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

Our goal is for them to learn basic music skills/theory, as well as hopefully instill a love for playing music. We also love that it teachers perseverance!

December Members of the Month

Meet the Woods Family from the western suburbs of Chicago!  Darla and husband, Darnell have four daughters, Anayah 10, Kenzie 6, Teagan 4, and Tessa 2. Four years ago, they took an epic road trip from Illinois covering Texas, California, Nevada, and Colorado. They have plans to travel as much as possible when it can be done safely again!
Woods-08-24-2020-17-3-Edit (1)

Continue reading “December Members of the Month”

Representation in Music

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”

Help Your Piano Student Focus

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”

A Piano Recital During a Pandemic

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”

What Should Piano Practice Include?

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?”

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.

Final1

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”

April Members of the Month

Meet the Baltzersen family from Atlanta, Georgia. Mom Allison, dad Jasper and their daughters Annika who is eight and Ava who is six. Allison is a working and homeschooling mom who is now working her way through the BusyMoms program.
Baltzersen037 (2)

Continue reading “April Members of the Month”

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”