Teaching Piano

Meet Lucia, Piano Teacher in Puerto Rico!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were in Puerto Rico. I highly recommend it as a fun place to vacation! The culture is different enough from the mainland U.S. that it feels a bit exotic, and yet, it’s familiar enough to the point where you can get around easily. Many of the locals speak English in addition to Spanish. There’s so much history to experience, great food, beaches, gorgeous weather, and fun excursions such as snorkeling and the rainforest. You can’t go wrong!

Before our trip, I connected with Puerto Rican piano teacher Lucia Fernandez, thanks to Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey method Facebook group (check out my review of Irina’s method book here). Lucia and her husband arranged a lovely dinner meetup for us and the couple we were vacationing with.

A couple of days later, Lucia picked me up to visit her home studio. It’s always fun to get a peek into a fellow piano teacher’s studio, right? Lucia agreed to allow me to feature her home studio here on my blog for you to see. :)

Continue reading “Meet Lucia, Piano Teacher in Puerto Rico!”
Announcements

Highlight: Ice Cream Intervals Game

Our 10-year blogiversary celebration sale continues this month! Don’t forget to take advantage of the promo code, if you’re planning to, before the end of February!

Today, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in: the Ice Cream Interval game. There’s also a freebie for your young beginners below…so keep reading!

Being able to recognize the placement of and distances between notes on the staff intervallically is crucial to reading music.  I like to tell my students that music reading involves more interval recognition than it does note identification. To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.

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The cards show intervals both on the staff lines and on the piano keys, so students are encountering situations.

This simple game works great as a single person activity. We lay out the cones on the floor, and start sorting the interval “scoops” to the appropriate cone.

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Continue reading “Highlight: Ice Cream Intervals Game”
Music Camps, Music History

Highlight: Great Composers & Their Music lapbooks and Eras of Music History kit

Our 10-year blogiversary celebration sale continues this month! This week, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in for your group classes or summer music camps. There’s also some freebies linked to below…keep reading!

The Great Composers & Their Music series is designed to be an easy and effective way for teachers to incorporate music history in their students’ musical education. Here’s the story of how this curriculum came to be.

In the summer of 2012, I decided I wanted to offer a music history camp for my students. It’s not easy to cover music history thoroughly during the private lesson setting, but I wanted my students to know the major composers and the style periods. Knowing these things helps students understand the pieces they are learning, appreciate music more, and make better decisions regarding interpretation and artistry. Music camps are a perfect opportunity for getting submerged in music history and learning a lot in just a few days!

When I took music history classes during college, my professor told us that one of her main goals was for us, by the end of the course, to be able to give a reasonable guess as to which time period a piece of music was composed — even when hearing a piece for the first time. I decided to adopt this very same goal for my students.

Continue reading “Highlight: Great Composers & Their Music lapbooks and Eras of Music History kit”
Resources, seasonal / holiday

2019 Valentine’s Day Round Up

Just thought I’d share a couple of Valentine’s Day related resources from my blog!

Heartbeat Charts activity

This activity is a staple for my monthly “Piano Parties” with my students. It’s such a good activity for working on rhythm and ear training.

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Here is how the activity works: Each student is given a heartbeat chart and some game tokens (I use glass baubles from the floral aisle). The teacher claps or chants a prepared rhythm and asks the students to repeat it back together. Once they have internalized the rhythm, students notate the rhythm on their heartbeat charts using game tokens. 

Continue reading “2019 Valentine’s Day Round Up”

Announcements

2 Pieces of News

Hi there! Just a quick post today to share two bits of news.

FIRST:

Starting tomorrow, I’m holding a 20% off sale for everything in my digital shop! The reason for the sale? We’re going to be partying all February long to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s upcoming 10 year blogiversary. Woohoo!

To receive 20% off, use the promo code 10YEARS between now (January 31, 2019) and February 28, 2019.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I rarely hold sales. If you’ve been eyeing my favorite Ice Cream Intervals game, my rhythm cards, or are thinking ahead to music camp curriculums for this summer, now’s a great time to buy! Visit the shop now by clicking here.

SECOND:

I pleased to announce the upcoming 2019 session of my online piano pedagogy course called Excellence in Piano Teaching! The dates will be April 1st through May 5th.

Have you always wanted to take a piano pedagogy college course, but haven’t had the opportunity? Or are you looking for a refresher of the pedagogy instruction you received during college, to put new energy into your teaching?

If you’d like to receive the details about this course, please join the separate email list by clicking here. I’ll be sending out more details by email in the upcoming weeks. For now, I thought I’d send out this save-the-date note in case you are interested in making plans to participate!

Stay tuned — there’s more coming soon to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s ten years of existence. :)

Announcements

Upcoming 2019 Appearances

Hello, readers!

At the beginning of the month, I had the opportunity to fly to Charlotte, NC to speak for the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum. I spoke on the topic of rhythm — specifically, how we can approach teaching rhythm from an ear training or MLT perspective. I had SUCH a fun trip! I posted some photo highlights from my two-day adventure on my instagram here.

I’d love to tell you about some other speaking appearances coming up this year.

First of all, in March, I will be participating in a few sessions during MTNA’s 2019 National Conference in Spokane, Washington, occurring March 16-20, 2019.

  • Saturday, March 16: “Games & Activities for Groups“, a 20-minute presentation during Pedagogy Saturday’s Recreational Music Making (RMM) track.
  • Wednesday, March 20 @ 8:00am: “Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT)” with co-presenter Amy Chaplin.
  • Wednesday, March 20 @ 9:15am: “Creativity Throughout: A Panel Discussion on the Business Side of Teaching“, appearing as a panelist.
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Reviews

Book Review – Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, by Barry M. Prizant, PhD

I recently finished reading the book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, written by Dr. Barry M. Prizant. It took me only a few days to “read” (I listened to the audiobook version) the whole thing, because I was enjoying it so much.

My motivation for searching out this book arose from a desire to better understand my current piano students who have autism. This was the book I settled on after searching on Amazon.com for a book on the topic that had excellent reviews.

This book did not disappoint.

The author, Dr. Barry Prizant, has decades of experience working with individuals with autism and is a leading expert in the field. He is a scholar, researcher, consultant, and an adjunct faculty at Brown University.

As Dr. Prizant explains in the book, autism therapy typically tends to focus on behavioral therapy — which means, getting rid of behaviors such as difficulties interacting socially, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Dr. Prizant points the way to a different approach instead. His book promotes the seeking of understanding individuals and what might be underlying their behaviors.

Rather than seeking to eliminate so-called “autistic behaviors”, Dr. Prizant advocates asking “why”. WHY is the person behaving this way? How can I better understand what might be causing the individual’s behavior, and how can I change MY behavior to help him or her?

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General

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays.

The new year always causes for me a time of reflection — refection upon the previous year as well as upon what the next year might hold.

As far as my blogging goes, I certainly published fewer blog posts in the last couple of years than I did in previous years. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing — I think the blogosphere and the online community is different now than it once was. Currently, I’m finding myself more active on Instagram than my blog. I would love to invite you to follow me there for those kinds of smaller, quick, fun updates and stay right where you are for the longer-form content here on the blog.

I’ve been thinking about how my teaching has changed over the years as well. (I began teaching piano around this time of year back in 2005.) There have been a number of important influences that have helped me improve my teaching, and I can see that my students are seeing the benefits. What will the next year hold? Ever more improvements, I hope!

Thanks so much for being a follower of my blog, and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2019.

P.S.: Anybody in Charlotte, NC? I’ll be in your area tomorrow (Friday) for a piano teacher presentation! Email or facebook me if you are interested in the details. :)

Reviews

Review: “Pianist” Magazine

A few months ago, one of my adult students introduced me to a wonderful UK-based magazine called Pianist. As a piano teacher, I couldn’t be more pleased that my student found this magazine.

My student Patsy and I, holding a few issues of Pianist magazine. This lovely lady lights up my life! 

I reached out to folks behind Pianist magazine to request a few back issues so I could write this review. They generously agreed. I’m excited to share with you more about this magazine today!

My student has been so enjoying reading the articles in these magazines and learning pieces included in the issues. 

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