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”

Let’s Talk About Piano Technique.

Technique is not a very exciting word. I am envisioning your eyes glazing over at the computer screen as you read the words “piano technique”.

Believe me, if I could come up with a sexier word to introduce this topic, I would!

Even though it sounds rather boring, piano technique is super duper important. And there is SO MUCH to it. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Piano Technique.”

Piano Practice for Kids with ADHD

If your child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you probably are aware that practicing piano presents challenges. I have worked with many piano students who have ADHD. One of my own children was also diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago. Piano practice for kids with ADHD does not look the same as it does for a typically developing child. I am happy to say that through my own experiences as a mom and piano teacher, I’ve discovered some truly effective strategies when it comes to piano practice for kids with ADHD. Continue reading “Piano Practice for Kids with ADHD”

Teaching Expressive Piano Playing

I often attend workshops and conferences for piano teachers and have the opportunity to observe adjudication sessions with piano students from many different age groups. Expressive piano playing ALWAYS comes up during these sessions. Continue reading “Teaching Expressive Piano Playing”

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”

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”

Summertime Piano Practice: Tips and Ideas

If your anything like my family, your summer schedule probably looks a little bit different than your schedule during the school year (maybe even a LOT different). Our days tend to not have quite as much structure and more free time, but we also have some pretty big interruptions to the new “normal” with family vacations or even hosting friends and family as they come to visit. Does this mean summertime piano practice is nonexistent in your house?
Continue reading “Summertime Piano Practice: Tips and Ideas”

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!”

Transitioning to Independent Practice

In my  March livecast, I talked about modeling an effective practice (which includes identifying and fixing mistakes) so that your student can not only make practice but also learn to one day practice independently.

As a student becomes a little older and more able to do things independently — read, play games, do a puzzle, complete a task — your child will be ready for you to back off a bit and give her some space while practicing. Your role will become that of a “guide” rather than a “fixer”.

The process of learning new music with a student who is in this developmental stage and beginning to make the transition to independent practice can be broken down to 3 phases. Watch my April livecast below for all the details. Continue reading “Transitioning to Independent Practice”