Chords are the backbone of music. Yet, how many of us take the time to teach our students about chords? Not as part of their technique exercises or on a theory page, but as an element that makes a song … well, a song. And, how many times do we sing chords so we can play chords?
One of the things I have changed about my practice time in the last few weeks is to create instead of imitate. Rather than play repertoire by other composers, I play from the heart. It’s been eye opening how much I’ve had to say musically!
Then, on a rare trip to my office this week, I found a book that a student gave me which reminded why this is so important.
‘Tis the season for final school projects and tests, outdoor sports, mosquitoes, and trying to convince the kids there is a reason to give full effort until the last day of lessons. It can feel a little like herding cats … in a room full of rocking chairs. Don’t fight the lure of outside! Let’s take lessons from the piano to where students want to be and give them the change of pace they are craving.
Can you believe it is already June? Most years tend to fly by in a flurry of wonderful activities, milestones and celebrations. But this year feels like it went by even faster than normal. I hear that this tends to happen as we get older … I just didn’t realize it happened this quickly! Enjoy your last lessons before summer with these tips.
Having a studio recital is a lot of work. And, it’s completely worth it. But, you may be thinking, “The recital is over … now what?” Maybe you are feeling burnt out or “burnt out adjacent” (the feeling of don’t-add-anything-more-because-I-am-JUST-barely-able-to-get-everything-done). I was definitely feeling burnt out adjacent in the last few months. And, our studio…
In the next few weeks, I will be getting everything ready for our spring recital. And, I’m sure the same is for many of you. However, the most important part is the students performing! They are the stars of the show & having their recital song mastered is a must. Do you have a student…
With the end of the year just around the corner (or so it seems), many of our students will be getting a bit wiggly on the bench, perhaps a bit teary-eyed at staying inside on a sunny day, and in general wanting to do something just a little bit different.
One of the favourite warm-up activities we did in my studio this year was rhythm warm-ups. I wanted my students to feel a steady pulse as they played piano, but I also wanted them to improvise with rhythms so when they saw them in their music it was easier to recognize. I wanted a warm-up that kind of did it all. This week, I am sharing the warm-up with you!
We are heading into our 6th month of winter and I’ll admit some days it can be difficult to remember the positives. How do we make sure we continue to celebrate those small wins that make lessons so rewarding?
We want our students to love playing music! And, we don’t want them to be stuck figuring out the basics for Every. Single. Sound. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. And, that goes for both student and teacher. So, how can we help them move beyond the basics?
We are doing a 1-minute challenge in the studio and many of my students have decide the best way to improve their score from week to week is … practice! Don’t you love when they decide that for themselves? Needless to say, my piano parents needed some note-reading app suggestions quick.