Tag Archives: Piano teaching

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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With distractions this time

Performance Classes were held in my studio this week as preparation for the year-end recital. As usual, students were grouped roughly by age and level, although scheduling issues sometimes ended up taking precedence. After the first run-through of the recital … Continue reading

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Tetris, an ugly bump, and sight-reading

Thanks to good teaching I’ve never had a problem with tendinitis or any other pain in all the years I’ve been playing the piano. Thanks to Tetris, I have an ugly bump at the base of my thumb, which caused … Continue reading

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Viva la différence!

For teachers in Canada, there is a healthy, rich alternative to the ubiquitous exam system. Conservatory Canada is similar in the number of grades, theoretical subjects, general format, and credit in high schools. There are a number of striking differences … Continue reading

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