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?”

Black Classical Composers

When we think about African American music, we tend to think about spirituals, jazz and gospel genres. To be sure, these are genres that have been created and shaped by Black composers and musicians. However, something we often overlook is Black classical music and Black classical composers.

Though I have been trained in classical music my entire life and studied music in college, I never heard names such as William Grant Still or Florence Price until recently. Many Black composers have been largely absent from the study of classical music. Let’s take a moment to learn about three of these brilliant composers and their contributions to classical music.

Continue reading “Black Classical Composers”

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”

A Peek At Our Homeschool

This blog is typically a place where I share musical resources and piano practice tips. I thought I would do something a little bit different in this post, and share with you a peek into our homeschool world.

This coming fall, I will be homeschooling my oldest daughter again for her 6th grade year. We take what is called an eclectic approach to homeschooling. This means we don’t follow one set philosophy such as Classical or Charlotte Mason. It also means we don’t use one boxed curriculum that overs every subject. Instead, I have picked out parts from different homeschooling resources that I believe best fit my daughter’s personality and interests. Continue reading “A Peek At Our Homeschool”

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.

MummaFamily-2018-58 (1)

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”

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”

The Baroque Period: Lesson 4

This lesson is part 4 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. Today’s lesson will review everything we’ve learned so far in the series!

To view Lesson 1, click here.

To view Lesson 2, click here.

To view Lesson 3, click here.

The creation of Baroque music was driven by the patron — the church and the wealthy.

Music was a display of wealth, talent and all things fancy. New musical forms rose in popularity, and composers of the time produced hundreds of compositions for their patrons.

Let’s review what we learned about the Baroque era of music and composers! Continue reading “The Baroque Period: Lesson 4”