|Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:45 PM||comments (2)|
Today I've talked to a few parents who are asking what to do when their child begins to utter those awful 5 words "I want to quit piano." If you're a student who thinks you want to quit, or a parent who is hear these words, or a teacher dealing with this in your studio, I hope you take a look at this before the decision is made:
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|Posted on February 25, 2012 at 4:40 PM||comments (1)|
Recently I joined a group of teachers who are taking a class on the theory requirement of The Achievement Program http://www.theachievementprogram.org/. With our instructor, Dr. Andrew Hisey, Regional Leader for TAP, we've gone through all of the beginning assessment and have taken an exam. What has been most interesting is an emphasis on teaching power principles. I've tried to teach intermediate and advanced students the ci...Read Full Post »
|Posted on December 15, 2011 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Several years ago I read about this cool Christmas gift for students:
Made with Word for Mac in Publishing Layout. I tried to get a font that was close to the "HERSHEY'S" font. I came close, but not exact. These always bring a smile to students and parents faces!
|Posted on December 8, 2011 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
My Facebook firend, Mario Ajero, just posted this: Compare how many times you played it right in the practice room to the amount of times you played it wrong, and you'll understand why you didn't perform admirably. #yaypiano
My college prof said this many times: You earn a good performance in the practice room. (I'm paraphrasing.)
Mario's way of expressing it sure is neat and succinct, and a great thought for me to remember, as well as all of my students. I've tried preaching this...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM||comments (7)|
I've been waiting to blog about the new Studio Incentive for a while. Now we've completed the first full week of lessons, and everyone is happy with this new idea. I purchased 1 pint jelly jars from Walmart to be containers for the Jelly Belly Incentive at a cost of less than $1/jar. Jelly Bellys were slightly more expensive! I've stopped focusing on practice time and am really pushing meeting weekly goals with each piece. Goals are listed on the students' new assignment sheet a...Read Full Post »
|Posted on August 30, 2011 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
I've done a lot of thinking during August about the shape lessons at my studio will take this year. I have a few students who are taking Piano Exams this fall in November, so we worked hard on keyboard skills and memory of repertoire pieces during the summer. Just thinking about all the work these piano exams entail made me focus on better ways to "hit the ground running." So I'm borrowing an idea from an internet colleague, Wendy Stevens.Read Full Post »
|Posted on August 19, 2011 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
In a few short weeks, piano lessons will be in full swing. What are your goals for the new year of Piano Study?
As you already know, there is no progress in becoming a better musician without practice. Did you also know that careless practice can actually make you worse? When you sit down to practice, focus on the 5 ELEMENTS that will help you practice more efficiently and enjoy it more.
Of course the answer to who is YO...Read Full Post »
|Posted on July 28, 2011 at 3:29 AM||comments (0)|
Parents thinking a child can practice alone is a major reason children stop piano study.
Why daily practice is important. The longer your student waits between the lesson and thefirst practice session of the week, the more frustrated they can become. Theywill tend to forget what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed todo it. Help your child succeed in lessons by enforcing a daily practice sessionand make it a daily routine. One teacher has saidRead Full Post »
|Posted on June 7, 2011 at 8:55 PM||comments (3)|
I just got home this afternoon from a great MMTA Convention! Our marketing committee gave an hour's presentation on Marketing - Here, There, and Everywhere!
Here. That was within our membership. Our Vice President of Membership, Rebecca Daws, made comments about networking within our membership and how her experience with a mentor not only helped her build her studio numbers, but also helped her...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 15, 2011 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
If you haven't heard yet about the tremendous giveway Jenny Boster has on her blog, click here to find out more information about the new ear training online site "Ear Training Pro." They are giving away a subscription to one lucky winner.
|Posted on April 3, 2011 at 2:33 AM||comments (0)|
By Jane Magrath
When I posted this last week, I was in a real hurry and gave no explanation. Sorry about that. In this convention session, Jane Magrath gave all these suggestions for fresh repertoire. Some of them I've taught, but most of them are charming pieces I had never heard before. I love these kind of convention sessions because I come away with practical hints I can use right away in my studio. My next job i...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM||comments (0)|
Apologies! I was having trouble updating the site for a couple of days, but here we go with more notes and reaction to the sessions at MTNA Convention in Milwaukee.
I dragged out all my notes tonight,hoping for a few more posts about the convention before my memory fades.
On Sunday I attended an excellent session presented by students from the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma on preparing students for playing Liszt. The students selected two well known Liszt...Read Full Post »
|Posted on March 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
Gracious - that is Randy and Nancy Faber. I've attended every Faber seminar and session at MTNA Convention for the last several years. What I always observe is how gracious they are when receiving comments and questions from teachers. They never react in a proud way, but they have much to be proud about. Even other composers and editors said how great they are as I made my way through the exhibits, with phrases like, "Of course it's great. It's by the Fabers." I was actually thinking today, "...Read Full Post »
|Posted on March 27, 2011 at 6:11 PM||comments (0)|
I really loved traveling to Milwaukee with fellow colleagues Marilyn Henry and Linda Seime. We had basically a 6 hour conversation about our studios, helpful websites, and piano pedagogy. In our busy lives, we rarely have this amount of time together to just sit and talk and laugh. I think I appreciate the laughing especially! One of my most prized possessions these days is a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself.
I found these facts on laughing being healthy for us at ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on March 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM||comments (0)|
I'm hoping to blog occasionally while at the MTNA Convention about my personal experiences this week, sessions I attended for the benefit of my students. This will be a more permanent record for me and will help focus my thoughts.
Today I attended the excellent keynote address by Dr. Bill Moore, on the subject of his book by the same name, "Playing Your Best When It Counts." From his website for the book, playingyourbest.com...Read Full Post »
|Posted on January 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
A colleague posted this video on her blog. (Thank You, Chris Wolf) What does this have to do with piano lessons? Rhythm, Man! Enjoy . . .
|Posted on January 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM||comments (0)|
Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View
By Vicky Barham, Ph. D.
I’m a parent of children enrolled inSuzuki music lessons. I’d like
to explain to other parents why I feel – quite strongly, actually -
that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make
up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how
expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that
weekly ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on May 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM||comments (0)|
Please go to http://vahlpiano.blogspot.com/ to see my new blog. Thanks for visiting!
|Posted on May 23, 2009 at 1:34 PM||comments (0)|
One of my favorite pedagogical speakers is Marvin Blickenstaff. A few yearsago I attended a week long class at St. Thomas University in St. Paul and heard him speak many times. My favorite notes are these, on SHAPING THE SOUND - Rules of Thumb for the Student.
Shortsgo to longs (crescendo)
Downbeatsare magnetic -- the sound is drawn to them ?but ?
No two successive downbeats should be alike.
Upbeat figures are interesting and have great ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 30, 2009 at 1:12 AM||comments (0)|
Many in the Twin Cities area have heard about the disappearance and death of a young man named Jelani Brinson. Jelani, his brother Jamari and his sister Kai were all students at Fourth Baptist Christian School when I taught classroom music, choir, band, and German there between 1975 and 1985. My thoughts and prayers are with the family as they face this terrible loss. Kai was my piano student for several years during elementary school and I think that she and Jelani had their sunny personalit...Read Full Post »