Category Archives: technique

Review & Giveaway: EasyScales Visual Guides set

Today, I would like to tell you all about the EasyScales Visual Guides, a patent pending product by Jo Tee!  Jo Tee is a creative piano teacher from Singapore. Here is how it works: 

Also posted in advanced level, giveaways, intermediate level, reviews | Tagged , , , , | 84 Responses

Recent Purchases: Scale Blocks & A Technique Monkey

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for creative and inexpensive items for my teaching.  The dollar store is one of my favorite places to go! In the craft aisle at Dollar Tree right now, there are packages of foam cubes, as shown in the picture.  I’ve always wanted to make […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, games, group classes, music theory, private lessons, resources / links, settings:, what I'm up to | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Responses

Just Updated: Scale & Arpeggio Fingering (2 Octaves) Reference Sheet

Some of you may remember the Scale & Arpeggio Fingering reference sheet I posted in December of 2010. About a month ago, a friendly reader made some very helpful suggestions for improvement, and so I spent quite a bit of time revising the printable. It’s called “Scale and Arpeggio Fingering for Piano (2 Octaves)” and […]

Also posted in adult students, advanced level, intermediate level, music theory, other resources, practicing, printables, private lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Just Added: Scale and Arpeggio Fingering (2 Octaves) Reference Sheet

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve added a new printable to the Printables page….so here’s one I created a couple of months ago.  You can find it on the Printables > Other Resources page. Scale and Arpeggio Fingering (2 Octaves) Reference Sheet (3 pages long) I created this printable with my intermediate/advanced students in […]

Also posted in advanced level, intermediate level, other resources, practicing, printables | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Practice Tips: Bringing out the Melody

A reader asks for practice tips for learning to bring out the melody in the midst of a series of chords.

Also posted in advanced level, practicing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

The November Forum: Analogies for Finger/Hand Shape

This month’s discussion topic: Analogies for Finger/Hand Shape at the Piano How do you teach students how their fingers/hands should look when they play?  Do you use any analogies, such as: “pretend you are holding a bubble”?  What do you find works, and what doesn’t?  Please share your tips! Leave your thoughts in the comments […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, Forum Q&A's | Tagged , , , , | 22 Responses

Teaching Phrase: “Pretend It’s Easy”

Lately, I’ve trying out this phrase with my students, in situations when a student is struggling with the technique of playing a particular passage: “Pretend this is really easy for you to play.” This phrase works best in a situation where the teacher observes that the student is holding far too much tension in his/her […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Learn Scales

Why do we learn and practice scales? Is it just for tradition’s sake? This post discusses 5 great reasons for learning and practicing scales.

Also posted in memorization, music theory, practicing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Tension and Piano Playing

A brief discussion about issues with tension in piano playing.

Also posted in advanced level, what I'm up to | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

Bench Height: Try Little Pillows for Little Students

Just thought I’d share my recent find.  One again, I’ll admit, I found another treasure at the dollar store.  (Does anyone else love dollar stores as much as I do?) It might not seem like much, but I see great potential in this little blue pillow.  My little student won’t have to sit on a […]

Also posted in beginners / elementary Level, by student's level, improving as a teacher | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Keyboards vs. Acoustic Pianos

Check out these pictures at, featuring modern keyboard designs by Yamaha!  I particularly like the one shown in the screenshot at right. Would I ever buy a keyboard such as this?  No, probably not.  If I had the money to spend, I’d buy an acoustic piano, not a keyboard.  Acoustic pianos are still far […]

Also posted in improving as a teacher, technology, what I'm up to | Tagged , , , , | 3 Responses

Photos demonstrating Proper Posture at the Piano

Over at The Well-Balanced Pianist website, Dr. Tereasa Dybvig has some wonderful before-and-after pictures of students demonstrating posture at the piano.  Let me tell you, a picture truly tells a thousand words!  I’ve never before seen such a clear demonstration of the effects of incorrect posture.  Bench height, distance from the piano, and having feet flat on […]

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