Announcements

Craft Project: Sheet Music Shade for a Hanging Light Bulb Fixture

The new space I’ve moved into had two rooms with bare bulbs as the light fixtures…up until recently. :)

I had seen several ideas on Pinterest for making your own light fixture shades using old sheet music, so I decided to try my hand at prettying up those bare, hanging light bulbs.

I’m happy with how it turned out. :)

Here’s how I made mine: Continue reading “Craft Project: Sheet Music Shade for a Hanging Light Bulb Fixture”

Announcements

Setting Up A New Studio Space

This post is a long time coming. I haven’t been as active on my blog so far this year as I usually am, but I’m excited to finally have gotten these photos ready to share.

Earlier this year, I moved into a new space. I was looking for something that would allow for a more convenient layout for my studio being in my own home, and we found this wonderful old house to rent. Location-wise, it is still near my Perrysburg students, but it is actually closer for some of my original students in Bowling Green, which is where we first lived when my husband and I moved to Ohio.

I love old houses!

Continue reading “Setting Up A New Studio Space”

Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Music Learning Theory

Group Class Ventures with Music Learning Theory (MLT)

Since taking the Piano Certification Course through the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML) last August, I have been slowly but surely working towards integrating Music Learning Theory (MLT) principles into my teaching approach.

Much of this integration is subtle at this point and yet, it is having a definite impact on my students.

I’ve also had the opportunity to experiment more directly with an MLT-based teaching approach in a couple of new group music classes I’ve been offering over the past few months.

The first opportunity arose when one of my piano parents asked if I might consider doing some kind of group music class with her two piano students as well as three of her other children who take lessons in guitar, flute, and violin. She was interested in her kids receiving additional help with rhythm, theory, and more, to support their private lessons. I told her more about the GIML training I received and how I felt it would be ideal for her kids and that I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to experiment more with this approach. So, now I’m teaching a weekly 30-minute group music class (not geared towards piano playing) with 5 siblings between the ages of 7 and 12. Afterwards, I give the two piano students their private lessons.

The second opportunity arose when a local violin teacher reached out to me asking about lessons for her 4-year-old son. Ultimately, we settled on having a weekly 30-minute group class with her son as well as her two other young children. The five of us are exploring music together using the Music Play early childhood music curriculum as the basis.

So far with both classes, I’ve been loosely following the lesson plan outline that Marilyn Lowe suggests in her Keyboard Games (KG) books (see image below). I’m pulling songs and rhythm chants from her KG books, Music Play, and the ECMC Songs and Chants Without Words, Book One.

Continue reading “Group Class Ventures with Music Learning Theory (MLT)”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (5): Wednesday, March 22

[Click here to go back to Day 4.]

8:00am The More the Merrier: Creating Collaborative Experiences for Students of All Ages, by Sarah Alexander, Whitney Hawker, and Spring Seals. 

Sarah, Whitney, and Spring presented an informative session about simple ways to incorporate collaborative experiences into the piano lesson experience, from using duets for sight-reading or improvisation to hiring a guitarist, bassist, and drummer for a pop recital experience.

Check Whitney and Spring’s blog here: 4-D Piano Teacher blog. Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (5): Wednesday, March 22”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (4): Tuesday, March 21

[Click here to go back to Day 3.]

8:00am Showcase: Willis Music Company: Happy Birthday Mr. Gillock!

The Willis Piano Music showcase session celebrated the music of composer William Gillock and highlighted some new publications. One of the books I found interesting was the Accent on Two Pianos for 2 pianos, 4 hands, by William Gillock.  Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (4): Tuesday, March 21”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (3): Monday, March 20

[Click here to go back to Day 2.]

8:00am Faber Piano Adventures: The Power Of Technique & Artistry, by Randall Faber.

The Piano Adventures showcase session was excellent as always. Randy covered some new publications and helpful thoughts about teaching technique. Attendees received a free copy of Hanon-Faber: The New Virtuoso Pianist, the Adult Piano Adventures Popular, Book 2, and the Piano Adventures Technique & Artistry, Level 4 book. Faber’s new edition of the Hanon exercises present a selection of the Hanon exercises that have been “retooled” for the modern piano (longer strings, larger hammers, and heavier action than the piano of Hanon’s day).  Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (3): Monday, March 20”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (2): Sunday, March 19

[Click here to go back to Day 1.]

9:15am NEW Pedagogy Pics: Video Clips of Students Caught In The Act of Being Themselves, by Bruce Berr.


Bruce Berr (well-known for his wonderful column in the American Music Teacher magazine — an MTNA publication for its members) has been video recording his lessons for the past 25 years. When students start lessons with him, he gets permission and just leaves the camera on all the time. He afterwards erases clips that aren’t worth keeping.

In his session, Bruce shared a handful of student videos and made pedagogical observations with each. The first video was a clip of a student improvising for the first time. The second clip was of an early advanced student working out some technical issues in a piece by Granados. It was fun to get a glimpse into his teaching style! Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (2): Sunday, March 19”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (1): Pedagogy Saturday

Attending the 2017 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) conference in Baltimore was a fantastic experience. I look forward to sharing more details with you over the next few blog posts.

My friend Amy Chaplin (of PianoPantry.com) and I decided to carpool and make it a roadtrip to the conference. She drove from her home in Indiana to my home in Ohio, to pick me up. Neither of us anticipated this kind of weather on Friday morning, however — take a look at the visibility on the roads that morning!

Fortunately, the visibility improved as the day went on and as we drove further east. We arrived safe and sound, late Friday night.

Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (1): Pedagogy Saturday”

Conferences, Technology

MTNA 2017: App-Laudable Uses of Apps in Music Lessons

It was an honor to have the opportunity to present a session at the 2017 MTNA conference this year! My topic was App-Laudable Uses of Apps in Music Lessons.

In my session, I addressed the responsible and effective incorporation of technology before launching into a demonstration of a variety of apps for music lessons.

If you would like to download the handout from my session, please click here. (Please note that the app information in the handout is current as of March 2017).

You can check out a list of app reviews I’ve written here on my blog here.

Conferences

MTNA 2017, Here I Come!

Baltimore, here I come!

I am so excited to be traveling to the 2017 MTNA National Conference, taking place in Baltimore from March 18-22.

This year, I’m roadtripping there with my friend Amy Chaplin, of Bluffton, Indiana.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the conference, but you might also be interested in following more real-time photographic documentation of my adventure, on Instagram. You can follow me here.

If you will be in Baltimore too, please say hello and introduce yourself!

P.S.: Amy just wrote a great blog post at PianoPantry.com full of great tips for getting the most out of conferencing. Check it out here