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”
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”
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.
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.
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”
Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “Repetition is the mother of all learning.”
There’s a reason for this. Repetition improves speed, increases confidence and creates neural pathways in the brain that commit that skill into memory. Once we’ve been down a pathway before, it’s easier to find the second and third and fourth time around!
Obviously, repetition is an important tool in musical learning. When my piano students are working on a piece of music, I might ask them to play a section “one more time” to help them become more fluent in a skill.
But sometimes, I can tell a student is getting frustrated or even bored if I ask him to repeat a passage of his piano piece again and again. Continue reading “Repetition in Musical Learning”
If you’ve ever watched an accomplished pianist play, you may have been amazed at the way her fingers moved quickly across the keys — even when playing a complicated piece of music. It looks so easy, doesn’t it?
If you are working with a younger beginner, however, chances are you’ve realized that there’s a lot of work that goes into building that kind of strength and dexterity in a person’s fingers! Your student may become easily frustrated when trying to play each note one-at-a-time, with a different finger. It might seem impossible for a 5-year-old to keep his fingers round and firm while striking a piano key. Continue reading “Building Strength and Finger Independence”
Your student is preparing for a piano recital. You’re probably thinking, “Well, she’ll have to practice a lot!”
That’s sort of true. However, getting ready for a piano recital involves a bit more of a strategy than just additional practice. Continue reading “Preparing for A Piano Recital”
I believe piano lessons are important because learning a musical instrument has all sorts of fantastic cognitive and emotional benefits. I also believe piano lessons are important simply for the sake of learning to play a musical instrument — for adding richness, beauty and balance into a child’s life. Continue reading “Careers in Music”
As a piano teacher, I make sure my students have many opportunities to share their musical gifts through piano recitals, playing for church or school talent shows. Even with my online students, I provide an online recital hall and suggestions for holding recitals at home. But what if your student suffers from performance anxiety? Continue reading “Reducing Performance Anxiety”
Sometimes students will come to me for piano lessons with a strong ability to play by ear in place already. It could be that the student has spent time listening to favorite songs on iTunes and picking out those melodies on the piano. Alternatively, a student might hear me play a piece of music she is working on in a lesson and, rather than reading the music, rely on her memory of what the piece sounds like in order to learn it.
It can be difficult to figure out how to approach teaching a student like this piano.
Do we completely ignore theory and technique and musical scores in favor of just learning pop hits by ear?
Do we start from the very beginning and scrap all the pop music in favor of meticulous theory and music-reading? Continue reading “When a Student Can Play By Ear…”