Monthly Archives: June 2012

That clock keeps ticking…

A teacher friend of mine doesn’t even offer 30-minute lessons. If you sign up for lessons with her, you get minimum 45-minute lessons. Awesome idea. I jumped on it a couple of years ago. Got a number of beginner students … Continue reading

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How to Ace a History Exam

Here’s where I hold my nose and go against all my principles of educating. The topic of the music history exams was being discussed on a forum recently (Royal Conservatory of MusicĀ in Canada; TheĀ Achievement Program in the US). The syllabus … Continue reading

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Close enough: 50 Piece Challenge Wrap-up

My grade 3 math teacher once drew an illustration on the blackboard – with chalk – that has stuck with me. A student had given an answer for a question that was a bit off. The teacher said he was … Continue reading

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Taking a stand

Here’s the thing. It is illegal to photocopy music in order to avoid purchasing it, and it hurts composers, publishers, retailers and probably more, when we do so. It’s just so easy – especially with multi-purpose home printers that can … Continue reading

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Arpeggio fingering chart

Once students reach the advanced level (grade 9), I get them to try a different arpeggio fingering for those all-white-note arpeggios. The first time I ran across it I thought it was the stupidest thing ever, but as it happens … Continue reading

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To accept or not to accept

This time of year I get many calls and e-mails from people looking for a piano teacher. I’m grateful that the calls keep coming; I know others aren’t so lucky. At this point I have enough students for fall. I’m … Continue reading

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Move over, Bieber

Jan Lisiecki is an incredible young pianist who is making quite a name for himself on the world stage. He’s one of “ours” – born and raised in Calgary. We in the music community feel a certain proud ownership, as … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

12 Most Written Comments on Exams

A number of years ago I went to a Conservatory Canada teacher workshop given by Ontario teacher and examiner Emily Dow. She presented the listening protocol used by examiners and left us with this useful list. I’m sure we’ll all … Continue reading

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The Studio Wall

Time to celebrate 2 more winners in the 50 Piece Challenge! Two wonderful students received a book of fun, fun music and got their pictures added to the wall. The one student was just bothered that he hadn’t been the … Continue reading

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What to wear… what to wear….

To students – yes, you should dress nicely for any performance – festival, competition, even exams. You don’t need an evening gown or a suit and tie, but please, PLEASE don’t show up in sweats and flip-flops (we’ve discussed the … Continue reading

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Music as medicine

Joy Morin at Color in My Piano posted the following quote today: “Music is the medicine of the breaking heart.” ~Leigh Hunt, English essayist and poet The Lacrymosa from Mozart’s requeim is the perfect medicine for a breaking heart – … Continue reading

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Bach, Bartok, Brahms, Bortkewicz, Burgmuller, Busoni, Buxtehude

Having completed all the As in my stash of unread music (one volume, 5 pieces of Albeniz), it’s time to move on the the Bs. This will take me a while. I’ve already sight-read through or performed or taught a … Continue reading

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