Monthly Archives: June 2011

Teaching your own children

I have taught my own children to play piano. At this point I can say it has been successful. I get many comments and questions about this; it doesn’t always work and people want to know what I’ve done to … Continue reading

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How long should my child practice?

Practice tips and lists and slogans abound. How to practice is the single most important thing we can teach our students – and probably the most difficult thing for them to actually learn. I’ve referred to Isabelle Byman’s book, The … Continue reading

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Remembering Janice

My mentor and friend, Janice Waite Thompson, was taken by cancer at far too young an age. When I started accompanying at Mount Royal Conservatory 25 years ago, she became my mentor and friend. She was a very fine pianist; … Continue reading

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Keyboard Skills: Improvise, Harmonize, Compose, Transpose

Dr. Martha Baker-Jordan in Practical Piano Pedagogy calls this the “Black Hole” of piano teaching. These are functional keyboard skills that ideally every student should learn, but that many teachers either don’t know how to teach, or choose not to … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Kevin Coan on Introduction to Music from Artistry at the Piano

The Yahoo Piano Teacher’s Forum is a fabulous place to lurk, and maybe even contribute. I’ve learned loads of things about the standard method books from other teachers there, as well as many other resources (older) that I haven’t ever … Continue reading

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Performance Classes: Beginner and Elementary

Like the Late Elementary class earlier in the week, the other 2 classes were focused mainly on the performance of the Top 5 pieces. I managed to squeeze in a couple of other activities: Poison Rhythm – a listening activity; … Continue reading

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The Plan – and then the reality

It’s Performance Class week again. Last night I had my Late Elementary Class – 7 students, 3 of whom are doing exams next week (1 grade 2 and 2 grade 3s). The others had prepared their┬áTop 5 List of pieces … Continue reading

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