Name the Notes: Bass Clef Edition

In my years of teaching piano, one thing I consistently encounter is a student who is more confident reading notes in the treble clef (right hand) than the bass clef (left hand). And since many of us are right-hand dominant, it makes sense that playing with the right hand would feel easier and therefore more comfortable. Many students end up with weaker bass clef familiarity and improving this is the goal of the November Music Challenge Monthly.  Continue reading “Name the Notes: Bass Clef Edition”

Summer Practice Challenge

Well, we are already well into the summer, and if your students are like mine, the heat, the ice cream cones, and the screen time are beginning to pull them well out of routine. It’s great to enjoy that much-needed break from the school year, but I don’t love it when my students take too much of a break from piano. Sometimes, I struggle to “inspire” them to keep practicing piano throughout the summer, and I don’t want them to lose precious ground over the break, forgetting what they’ve most recently learned. I think continually changing up the practice routine and keeping it fun can help.  Continue reading “Summer Practice Challenge”

Spring Activity Pack

Do you have memories from childhood of hearing a song that made you feel happy, sad, or excited? At what point did you begin to associate music with different feelings? Many of us probably found some of this awareness around middle school or high school, when we began to experience more of the ups and downs of life. Most of us found songs to accompany us through those times. Music can be nostalgic and emotional. It can be a strong influence and a significant part of our stories.  Continue reading “Spring Activity Pack”

Identifying Intervals – January’s Music Challenge Monthly

I remember when my son was learning to read. It was a pretty painful process of going over the two- and three-letter words on his reading list very, very slowly. If you’ve ever witnessed a child learning to read, then you know what I’m saying here. For a countless number of times, you listen to them sound out each letter in c-a-t, and suddenly, one day, they read, “cat.” 

The same is true for reading music. It feels like your student may never reach the point of music-reading fluency, until one day it starts to click. This month, I’ve created the first in a new series of activities we’re calling Music Challenge Monthly. The January challenge addresses this very thing: the skills involved in music literacy.  Continue reading “Identifying Intervals – January’s Music Challenge Monthly”

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”

Reinforcing Ledger Lines

My 9-year-old daughter and piano student is working her way through Level 4 of my Busy Kids program and transitioning to independent practice. As we were skimming a new piece of music and she noticed many notes were written on ledger lines, she got a little panicky. She grabbed a pencil, figured out what the ledger line notes were and wrote in the names. Continue reading “Reinforcing Ledger Lines”