Category Archives: piano pedagogy

Video: Playing the Ice Cream Interval Game

During a recent lesson, I used my Ice Cream Interval Game — one of my favorite games for piano teaching — to reinforce and improve my student’s visual recognition of the intervals unison, second, third, fourth, and fifth in staff notation. Today, I thought I’d share a three-minute video clip of the activity. Here is what you’ll see in the video: […]

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Teaching Tool Review: Wright Way Note Finder

When I am teaching piano, one of the teaching tools I use frequently is the Wright Way Note Finder (find it on Amazon). I love this tool because it is useful for building a stronger sense of staff-to-keyboard correlation in students in just a few minutes’ time during lessons. Watch the video below to learn more about […]

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2015 Piano Pedagogy Seminar at Ohio University

Last weekend, I attended the 2015 Piano Pedagogy Seminar at Ohio University. It was a wonderful event that definitely helped recharge my teaching batteries! If you happen to live anywhere near Ohio University, I would encourage you to “like” their facebook page so you can receive information about this annual event. This year, the featured artists and […]

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Book Review: Intelligent Music Teaching by Robert A. Duke

I am excited to post this book review because this is one of the best books I have read in a while. If you are looking for a practical yet research-based book about piano/music pedagogy, get your hands on this book. This is my best book recommendation for any music teacher looking to improve their teaching. Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays […]

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Music Mapping with Piano Students

With nearly every piece I teach, the student and I analyze and label the form: Q&A phrases, AB form, ABA form, sonata form, etc.. Understanding the structure of a piece helps the student learn the piece more thoroughly and make well-based decisions relating to the interpretation of a piece. Back in early March, a student of mine demonstrated he had […]

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Tracking Progress of Piano Students

I received an email from a reader over the weekend, asking: “I would love to know your general process/techniques for keeping record of work done with a student.” Although piano methods already provide structure for study and the student’s assignment notebook does serve as a log of the student’s progress, I personally find it very helpful to […]

Also posted in piano teacher institute, repertoire / methods | Tagged , , | 9 Responses

“Un-Method” Books for Piano Students

As a piano teacher, you have probably been in the situation where you felt that using your favorite traditional piano method might not be the best choice for a particular new student’s situation. For example, perhaps you have a new student who already has experience reading music from school or band.  Or an older beginner with […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, repertoire / methods | Tagged , , | 15 Responses

Piano Lesson Video: Introducing a New Piece

I’m currently working on the projects required for becoming a NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music) through MTNA.  Of the required projects for piano, I think the video project is the most time consuming — so that is the project I’ve been focusing on first. As recommended by piano teacher profile projects workbook, I started recording some of my student’s […]

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Announcing: Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin

I received nearly 300 responses to my survey about offering an online piano course for piano teachers.  I was so encouraged by your comments that I immediately began writing the course material to be able to offer a 6-week course this summer.  Thanks so much for your feedback!  I am SO excited about this endeavor. […]

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The Role of Intervalic Reading when Reading Music

A few weeks ago, I added a new game to my Shop called the Ice Cream Interval game.  In that post, I briefly mentioned the importance of being able to read intervalically when reading music and I’d like to discuss this further today. While it is important for students to be able to identify the names […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, improving as a teacher, private lessons, sightreading | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Responses

Teaching Tip: Leaping Across on the Keyboard

Even from the beginning, the pieces in most modern piano method books require the student to move around the keyboard quite a bit.  Older piano methods (at least, the ones that utilize the Middle C reading approach) require the student to stay around the middle of the piano during the entire first level, or even […]

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Missing Steps to Learning to Read Music

In the comment section of previous post, a reader asked for suggestions with helping a young student connect notes on the staff with their names and their corresponding piano key.  I gave a response in the comment section, but thought I would share some of those thoughts with you all as a separate blog post! Sometimes, beginners […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level | Tagged , , | 14 Responses
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