Tag Archives: Piano teaching

Pace yourself

I’m faced with an extraordinarily long teaching day. Sometimes this just happens. I want the mental energy to give my last students the attention they deserve. I have to pace myself. The majority of the day’s students are intermediate and … Continue reading

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Rhythmic Dictation

We walked into the sterile theory classroom at the start of the 2nd term in 3rd year music. It was 9:00 AM, probably on a foggy Monday morning. It was the beginning of atonal music theory. The professor was leaning against his desk, silent. … Continue reading

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Beginner Performance Class: Focus on Ensembles.

This class took place at the end of October. Performance Classes were held again this week. Details to follow.  Beginner Class. Students: 3 girls, all with only 2 months of lessons, all age 7. Three different method books were represented, … 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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Don’t motivate. Inspire.

“I need you to motivate my daughter.” Red flag. Big Red flag. “She won’t practice. And she keeps telling me she won’t.” I accepted the student. I needed the money.  “She’s 13 and more interested in sports than music.” I’m … 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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When to apply for a piano exam

Apply for an exam when the student is ready.  Of course. But is this how we really operate? I know I usually do things backwards. We – teacher/student/parent – decide at the beginning of the year that we’ll plan on … Continue reading

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Quick. What comes before A?

No beginners this year, but still enough students who cannot tell me instantly what comes before C. Or after G. Time to haul out the alphabet drill again. Taken from one of Mary Gae George’s  videos, the drill consists simply … Continue reading

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Back to where I started. Kind of.

I didn’t mean to take things this far. It started when a friend sent me a list of top apps – some of which were for teaching music. I wrote about my take on apps and the direction I seem … Continue reading

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Back to Business

Two more days of this glorious summer laziness – then we hit (press) the keys again. I’m loading up on caffeine and tackling the business at hand. 1. Assignment Sheets/Binders. I’ve tried so many clever sheets – downloading and tweaking … Continue reading

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Clean. Simple. Deep.

We all do it from time to time. Attempt to rein in the stuff of life that has become clutter – physically, spiritually, professionally, emotionally. We need to. On the heels of last week’s comments about apps (and especially after reading … Continue reading

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If you’re gonna do it, do it well

This is for me – and for any other teacher considering a year-long incentive program: Don’t do it unless you’re willing to follow through. On administrative details – like planning lesson time – and recording success along the way. At … Continue reading

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