Andrea & Trevor Dow of Teach Piano Today have recently created a resource called, “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice.” She kindly sent me a copy to review, so I’m going to tell you about it — and give you a chance to win your own copy! First, here is Andrea’s description of the [...]
Have you ever have a student play a piece with frequent hesitations throughout, even though you know they can play much better than that? This phenomenon can occur with all ages/levels of students. Why does this happen? What is going on when this happens? This article will examine possible causes of and solutions for a lack [...]
I’ve blogged before about my thoughts on and struggles with memorizing music. I can definitely see improvement over my college years as far as successful memorization goes, but I admittedly still find it discouraging. I think what makes it frustrating for me is the fact that sight-reading is so easy for me, and memorizing is so not easy. :) Some [...]
Perhaps you are wondering why there is a picture of a bunch of stuffed animals for this post. Haha, I’ll get to that in a moment! My private students are preparing to play for the university’s Community Music School recital tomorrow! There will be about 12 students performing, 4 of which are my students. For [...]
Last week we discussed how to teach legato pedaling to students, and we got a few great responses – click here to check them out! As always, feel free to add your thoughts to the discussion! This week, we are considering the topic of memorization. I’ve seen great discussions about this topic on many websites [...]
A reader asks for practice tips for learning to bring out the melody in the midst of a series of chords.
We have all had students who are low on motivation at one point or another. It’s not always easy to keep students practicing week after week. To make matters more complicated, every student is different: something that motivates one student might not work for the next. This post contains 9 great suggestions for increasing motivation among your piano students.
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 [...]
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.
At a piano lesson this week, I observed my student grow increasingly frustrated with herself whenever she made a mistake. She would “growl” at herself and start back at the beginning of the phrase. After observing this continue for a few moments, I decided to stop her and address the issue. There were three reasons [...]
Many of you may remember being required by your piano teachers growing up to practice a certain amount of minutes each day/week. Perhaps your requirement looked something like this: 15 minutes a day, 140 minutes each week, or 45 minutes, 5 days a week. One of my previous teachers built her incentive program around how [...]
You know, learning to play an instrument is all about making breakthroughs. There are so many things to consider and train yourself to do. It’s a complicated process! You are never done learning. There’s always room for improvement. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been realizing that when I play forte on the piano — [...]