Category Archives: private lessons

Worksheet: About the Piano Scavenger Hunt

Last Saturday, I held the last Piano Party (monthly group class) for the school year.  Our theme was to talk about the piano as an instrument: how it makes sound, types of piano, why the piano must be tuned, etc. Here is a simple worksheet I used at the beginning of class to kick things […]

Also posted in group classes, worksheets | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Duet Recommendations for Sight-Reading

Yesterday’s blog post described the benefits of using duets in the lesson for improving sight-reading.  Today, I have a few recommendations for books that work well for this purpose. “Improve Your Sight-Reading! Duets” by Paul Harris These books are gold, I tell you!  I found these books when they were featured on the “New Items” […]

Also posted in sightreading | Tagged , | 4 Responses

Using Duets to Improve Sight-Reading

Most of the time, my students get plenty of practice sight-reading just from trying out their new pieces each week during their lessons.  If necessary, I will have students purchase a dedicated sight-reading book.  However, my favorite way to improve sight-reading with students is through frequent duet sight-reading together.   At each lesson with students […]

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Now Available: Composition & Improvisation Prompts for Piano eBook

Last week, I wrote a blog post here describing how I help my students compose their own pieces.  Today, I am officially announcing the release of a new e-book resource called: Composition & Improvisation Prompts for Piano!

Also posted in composition, improvisation | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

Audience In A Bottle

A couple of weekends ago, I attended a fantastic Piano Pedagogy Seminar at Ohio University.  The featured clinician was Dr. Peter Mack — an Irishman from Seattle who is a fantastic teacher with a wonderful sense of humor. During one of the sessions, Dr. Mack told us that in his studio there are lots of […]

Also posted in improving as a teacher | Tagged , | 11 Responses

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, piano pedagogy, sightreading | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Responses

Rhythm Train Game

I love being able to print out rhythm cards for my students to practice at home.  I can give them just a few cards to start, and add more advanced rhythms and time signatures as needed.  My students store their cards in a zipper bag and bring them to their lessons each week. At first, […]

Also posted in games, games, group classes, rhythm | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dynamics & The Beginner Piano Student

When I was a 5-year-old beginner piano student, I remember being re-assigned one-/two-line method book pieces when the only thing lacking was dynamic contrast.  And I remember being frustrated with this.  My frustration was partly due to the fact that I was bored with the music I was playing; I wanted to be reading staff […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Responses

Freebie: Signs for Beginner Piano

Over the last few months, I’ve created a collection of signs to use with my Piano Readiness and Homeschool Music classes: I use them during class when I am teaching or reviewing concepts.  They can be useful for games too.  For example, I like to have students hold up or point to the correct symbol […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, group classes, other resources, Preschool / Early Childhood Music | Tagged , , , | 7 Responses

Forum Q&A | Keeping Teenagers Engaged

Our last Q&A Forum topic was about organization.  I loved reading your ideas — thank you all for your responses! I had a great topic idea from a reader (thanks, Amy!) who asked: How do you keep teenagers engaged?  As we know, sometimes they are taking lessons only because their parents want them to.  Or, […]

Also posted in intermediate level, motivation, practicing | Tagged , , | 20 Responses

Introducing…The Color In My Piano Shop!

Greetings! I have a big announcement today: I have just added a “Shop” page to ColorInMyPiano.com, where I have listed a few items for sale!  Don’t worry…I’ll always share lots of freebies too, but I have some bigger projects that I’d like to make available in the shop.  :)  Right now, I’ve got two items […]

Also posted in group classes, rhythm | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Teaching Phrase: “I Think You Are Ready For…”

Here is a phrase I find myself use more and more lately with my students: “I think you are ready for…”   Imagine me saying it with plenty of enthusiasm.  This phrase comes in handy in a number of circumstances, such as: “Wow, you’ve got all your 5-finger patterns learned, so I think you are […]

Also posted in motivation, piano pedagogy | Tagged , , | 8 Responses
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