Learning songsProfessional DevelopmentReflectionsUncategorized

Play It Again, Sam!

This is the first in a new series of book reviews on the blog.
Lately, I have been wondering about the role of repetition in both lessons & practice time. In my own practice, it has been enlightening to see the natural patterns I fall into. Especially since some of them, as a teacher, I really do know better. As a teacher, it’s painful sitting through a song that once again a student has obviously put NO thought into during a week of incorrect practice. (“Why is the starting note still incorrect?” “I didn’t realize.” “It was written in bold on your practice page.” “Huh.”)

Student ProgressThe admin side of teachingUncategorized

In Praise of Incrementalism

We are getting into the 3rd month of a new school year & it’s feeling … well, not so new anymore. Routines are set (or not set depending on your point of view). The weather may be changing, but unfortunately it also tends to lead to dropping many of those awesome routines we have set in place back in September.

Then, I listened to a podcast that go me thinking … how can I help my students (& myself) stay motivated during a time of year that lends itself more to snuggling on the couch with a cup of tea & a good book, rather than sticking with our routines & goals?

Music LabThe admin side of teachingUncategorized

Setting Up a Music Lab: Lessons Learnt

Anytime we try something new, there is always a time of transition. This year, my students & I embarked on a new way of doing things in our studio. Granted, we always do something new each year … but, this year it was a BIG one. Setting up a travelling music lab.

After 3 weeks, I thought I would share the successes, the surprises (good & bad), the tweaks, & lessons I have learnt so far. Thankfully, overall the transition has been amazingly smooth & overwhelmingly positive.

ProductivityStudent ProgressThe admin side of teachingUncategorized

It's the most wonderful time of the year …

Right around this time, Staples always seems to have a commercial with “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” playing in the background.  I tried one year to sing the song while in Staples with my kids.  While they didn’t have frowns on their faces, they certainly didn’t join in.  But, it did seem…

Student retentionUncategorized

With These Piano Parent Stickers… Home Practice is Sure To Improve! — Teach Piano Today

Each year, I try to help my students practice more efficiently.  But, the fact of the matter is that without parent involvement there is only so much I can do.  Especially with my youngest students who are unable or struggle with reading my (fabulous) practice notes. Once my kids entered school, I developed a whole…