Tag Archives: Piano pedagogy

The Great Exam Experiment

I’m a believer in the piano exam system. It’s a motivator, it keeps teachers on track, it ensures students learn a wide range of repertoire style and technical and musical skills (depending on the particular exam system). Not insignificantly, it’s … Continue reading

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Don’t leave it to chance

I’m big on intervallic note-reading. Once the students get started, they’re away. But they need to get started. And sometimes restart mid-stream. At some point they need the ability to identify cold any given note on the grand staff. And … Continue reading

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Top Ten Technical Tools

… for first-year piano students. One more list to make me feel completely inadequate.* This is from a workshop by the indomitable Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield¬†that I attended almost 20 years ago. I get depressed when I realize how many of … Continue reading

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Zero to (grade) 6 in 34 (months)

Three years minus two months. From no knowledge of the keyboard to the successful completion of Grade 6. August, 2010 – a call from a mom looking for a history teacher for her 15-year-old daughter, who was working on grade … Continue reading

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An ethical and practical choice. It defines us.

“Talent is the result of highly motivated, focused, relentless practice, expertly guided by a master, over a long period of time. Given sufficient amount of excellent practice, innate talent becomes indistinguishable from acquired talent… “The notion that talent has a … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Teaching, Canadiana, General, Inspirational, Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

YOU do the counting.

TTM: Talkative Teacher Mode. *Most teachers feel compelled to speak, as if explaining, defining, reminding, admonishing, outlining, encouraging, and a host of other “ings” were of paramount importance, all the time. It’s as if TTM… was a built-in feature of … Continue reading

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Chromatic Scale Fingerings

Students love them. The chromatic scales. Once they get that 1-3-1-3 fingering going they can whip up and down the piano playing every single note at an uncontrollable, unstoppable speed. It’s even more fun doing them hands together in contrary … Continue reading

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In Defence of the Live Teacher

There are any number of studio music teachers who are embracing the technology to teach online, via Skype or a Youtube subscription series, and probably more ways that I don’t know about. I do applaud those who are seeking to … Continue reading

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Tips for First-Year Teachers

A piano teacher asked the following question on the Alberta Piano Teachers’ Association facebook page. “I’m a first year teacher. What would be your one piece of advice? I absolutely love it and can’t image not teaching now that I’ve … Continue reading

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Brain Goals

This is your Brain… on Music. ¬†Our studio incentive program for this year is off to a fine (well, slow – my fault) start this year. I have FINALLY got the pages in everyone’s binder. I printed this on 2 … Continue reading

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Yes. I’m doing the right thing.

Big internal struggle. Did I push them too hard? Were the lessons so exhausting that they’re going to lose some of the enjoyment of music? Two lessons last night – an hour each – both are good students who have … Continue reading

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Attitude Adjustment

You go to workshops and conferences hoping to learning something new. How much you learn depends in part on how much you already knew. Some sessions are great, some are not. Sometimes I walk away thinking I don’t know a … Continue reading

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