NCKP 2011 | (8) Why Didn’t I Think of That? by Dennis Alexander

Why Didn’t I Think of That? by Dennis Alexander.  Th @ 11:15am.

This session covered a variety of commonly asked questions from teachers that Mr. Alexander has received over the years.  There is a lot of good information here for teachers!

Q: Is it dangerous to play new pieces for beginners?  Won’t they learn the piece by ear instead of learning how to read?

A:  No.  It’s good to learn to play by ear!  We just need to expect reading to occur too.  Modeling (whether from a CD or from the teacher) helps students not come back each week with mistakes learned.  Continue reading “NCKP 2011 | (8) Why Didn’t I Think of That? by Dennis Alexander”

improving as a teacher, Practicing, Rhythm

Teaching Tip: Count Like a Musician!

At the 2010 Michigan Music Teachers Assocation conference this weekend, our conference clinician Martha Hilley had some wise words for us that I thought I’d share here:

Always be a musician, even when you are counting aloud!

As she led us through some various exercises during one of the sessions, Martha Hilley encouraged us to use vocal inflection to show musical direction — even when it’s just simple rhythms or melodic lines.  And, of course, this tip applies to our students: encourage them to be musical counters too!

Here’s to trying to use more vocal inflection when I count aloud with my students this week, and hoping that my musical counting will rub off on their playing!  =)

Stay tuned – more summaries of the conference are on the way!

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography | CC 2.0

Teaching Piano

Fun tip

Today I just thought I’d share a fun little tip I learned from one of my students this week!  Yes, you read that right: she taught me.  =)  She is a young beginner student, just learning how to read music on the staff.  She informed me that she came up with a way for remembering the note “D” (the one just above Middle C): D is the note that Dangles from the staff.  Clever!  I was so proud of her.  That is a little trick that I will definitely be sharing with my other beginner students.

improving as a teacher, Memorization, Performances, Practicing

12 Tips for Memorizing Piano Music

I’ll be the first one to admit: memorizing music does not come easily to me.  I really have to work at it, and it takes a lot of time.  Over the past couple of years, I have been reading and trying out everything I could find about memorizing music, and I’ve come up with a number of tips that have been helpful for me.

Some people memorize effortlessly, without even trying.  These are practical tips for the rest of us.  🙂

12 Tips for Memorizing Piano Music:

  1. From Day 1, practice your music with the intent of internalizing and memorizing it. Don’t wait until you’d got the piece learned to begin memorizing it.
  2. Use good fingering and use it consistently. It will take a lot longer to learn the piece if you are using different fingerings every time.  Writing your fingerings in the score will help (especially if you decide to use fingering other than what is indicate in the score).
  3. Always memorize the dynamics, articulations, and other markings on the page along with the notes. Don’t wait until you have the notes mastered!  It’s difficult to go back and fix things later.  It’s better — although perhaps more tedious initially — to learn it right the first time.
  4. Continue reading “12 Tips for Memorizing Piano Music”