Group Classes, repertoire / methods, Resources

Online Group Keyboard Supplement

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Check out this link…   It’s a site meant to help supplement group keyboard classes (most likely college-level, but not necessarily so).  You have to pay in order to get an account, but anyone can at the sample lessons for free.  Once you pay for the service, the students taking your class can log in to view lessons, watch videos, use interactive flashcards, and even print pdfs of assignments, lessons, or music scores to play.

The videos focus on topics such as how to properly execute a two-note slur.  I was impressed!  I mean, after all, it’s difficult to find to address technical aspects such as that when you have only three 45-minute classes of 15+ students each week.

Is this the direction that group keyboard classes are going?  It’s interesting to think about the future of group keyboard classes, such as those for music majors/minors in college.  As technology advances, teachers may be able to turn to the internet for supplemental, multimedia materials for their music classes.  I can certainly see the advantages, based on the sample lessons provided on this site.  What do you think?

Ear Training, Music Theory


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Here’s a link for you……  

This interactive site offers music theory tutorials, ear trainers, and other misc resources in a clear, helpful manner.  I found this site extremely helpful when I was taking 4 semesters of Aural Comprehension during my Freshman and Sophomore years.  I’d recommend it to anyone wishing to increase their ear training skills.  I still visit it every now and then to brush up on my skills.   

This is a great site for students of all ages, because many of the trainers are adjustable.  For example, there is a trainer for practicing key signatures.  If you go into “Settings,” you can choose exactly which key signatures you wish to be quizzed on, and leave the others unselected.  

What a great resource for music teachers and students!  

repertoire / methods, Resources

Famous piano students

Found this on the homepage of the Faber Piano Adventures website (sorry, it’s no longer there now). Guess who’s using Piano Adventures to study piano! firstfamilyThis picture was originally appeared in Hello Magazine in Canada and Star Magazine in the U.S.  :)

I’m a huge fan of the Piano Adventures series.  The pieces in their books are so imaginative.  Have you tried them?


Making Time for Improvisation

In piano lessions today, improvisation is often a subject that often “goes out the window” because it is deemed to be less important or secondary to other skills. It had not always been this way; improvisation used to be a expected skill for any accomplished keyboardist during the Baroque through Romantic eras. Interestingly enough, it seems that today, the role of the pianist has evolved into the role of reproducing the works of other composers, rather than being a pianist-composer. Teaching improvisation in the lesson can be an incredibly useful tool, as well as serve as a creative outlet for the student. How do we, as piano teachers, find or make time to teach students how to improvise at the piano? Continue reading “Making Time for Improvisation”

Announcements, Performances, Practice

Reflections upon Interpretation

Yesterday at a piano lesson, my student kept saying how she wasn’t sure “what to do in this section.” Although I wasn’t completely sure what she was feeling, I think she was saying that she sometimes wonders how she can make decisions about how to play a particular piece / passage musically. We were working on a Chopin Nocturne, and the main concept I was trying to communicate to her was to allow the RH melody to dictate some push and pull of the tempo, rather than allowing the LH accompaniment to metronomically determine the tempo. Continue reading “Reflections upon Interpretation”

Memorization, Motivation, Performances

Benefits of Holding a Piano Studio Recital

Recitals are an important part of having a piano studio.  Performing is a important skill for any pianist.  Despite the hard work involved, in the long run, the students find it a rewarding activity.

Benefits of having a recital include:

  1. Parents enjoy hearing the progress their student(s) are making under your instruction.  Grandparents and parents love attending these performances and getting pictures/video recordings of their child’s performance (esp. when it’s their first).  There’s something special about watching your child all dressed up and playing a special piece for an audience onstage.   Continue reading “Benefits of Holding a Piano Studio Recital”
Motivation, Practice

Incentive Programs for Piano Students

Do you use an incentive program in your piano studio?  Incentive programs can be a useful way to motivate and encourage students to be diligent and productive with their practicing. More importantly, an incentive program can help emphasize the behaviors or goals the teacher expects from the student. Below is information about how I designed an ongoing incentive program for my students.

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Growing up, I recall my piano teacher implementing a number of different programs while I was taking lessons — unfortunately, she never stuck with one long enough for me to earn a prize very often.  A good incentive program must be simple enough for the students to understand, and cannot be too time consuming as to take up a lot of the lesson time.  It needs to be easily attainable, otherwise students will give up on ever earning a prize.   Continue reading “Incentive Programs for Piano Students”