Monthly Archives: October 2011

Memory Misadventures

I’ve been trying to prove wrong those who say we as adults can’t memorize as well as we could when we were children or teen-agers. I’ve spent the last 6 weeks working on memorizing two pieces of music to play … Continue reading

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Performance Class: Elementary

A class with a half-dozen 7-9 year-olds, pretty much all starting their second year of piano lessons, needs to be over-prepared with plans, materials, and energy on the part of the teacher! Between the six students, I’m using 3 different … Continue reading

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Performance Class: High School/Advanced

I have had to divide my Advanced students into two groups, not including the adults who will have a separate class. Monday night I had 4 lovely students aged 16-18. Three were playing at an advanced level; the fourth is … Continue reading

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Assignment Sheet Dilemma

It all started a few years ago when I attended a Coffee Party organized by one of our local Piano Teachers’ Associations. We were introduced to a whole “new” way of organizing and planning lessons – all very helpful and … Continue reading

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Wisdom from a Workshop

Under the category “What you assume your students know,” we can add the key and time signatures of their pieces, without looking at the score. Shocking – but true, even for some advanced students! Just try it with your students. … Continue reading

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They Sound Like Pros

Billie’s Bounce – from an awesome group of young men. They all attended William Aberhart High School in Calgary and are now pursuing jazz studies – Eric Haynes (piano) at McGill University, Ben Rackow (bass) also at McGill, and Aaron … Continue reading

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Quote of the Month

Dissonances are only the more remote consonances. ~Arnold Schoenberg

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Alphabet Drill

The emphasis on intervallic reading and pattern recognition found in a number of method books is all fine and good; essential, even, for long-term reading ability and fluency. At the beginner stage, though, sometimes the very basic alphabet is not … Continue reading

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If you have to ask…

This says it all!

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Don’t Assume They Know What SIGHT-READ Means

I thought I made it so clear. This year’s 50 Piece Challenge is largely sight-reading focused. The idea is to sight-read something every day – and maybe pick an extra little ditty along the way to work on and play … Continue reading

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But I Don’t Like Peanut Butter

Ah – that wonderful late intermediate stage – grade 7/8 and up – where those nasty cross-rhythms appear. Playing two against three is fairly straight-forward. It works out to be the equivalent of a quarter, 2 eighths, then another quarter … Continue reading

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And so on back to Beethoven

My Piano Teacher Lineage Theodore Leschetizky is legendary in piano teacher circles. He was a Polish pianist, teacher and composer who lived from 1830-1915. Much has been said about his “method” of teaching, although he was “in principle no friend … Continue reading

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