A Groovy Kind of Morning

This morning was a whirlwind of activity at the house.  Between dealing with an email from my kid’s teacher (Really, glue in the desk?) & ensuring everyone was ready for a morning filled with learning, I was glad when I finally got to sit down with my tea & listen in on experts sharing great ideas for teaching theory, reading, technique, & artistry in playing.

It was wonderful to start off with “Groove Your Theory” & move into “Rote Teaching in the Development of Reading, Artistry and Technique”.  What did I learn?

Continue reading “A Groovy Kind of Morning”

My teaching community: Finding support in a solitary career

This week, I was struck by how fortunate we are to live in a time when it so easy to collaborate & ask for help from other educators from around the world.  Especially when, as much as I love teaching piano, it can be a very solitary career.  We spend lots of time with students, but not necessarily a lot of regular time with other professionals.  If you already do this, awesome!  You are the teachers I look up to & turn to for advice.

Below are some of the inspirational & thought-provoking podcasts, blog posts & Facebook groups that really struck a chord with me this week.  I hope that they prove to be just as useful for you!

Continue reading “My teaching community: Finding support in a solitary career”

Having a whisper of a good time

It’s been a few years since I have lost my voice, but all the flu & colds that have gone around seems to have finally caught up with me.  Instead of getting really sick, I just lost my voice.  I suppose I could have called in sick, but none of my students would have heard me on the video lesson anyway.  What to do?

This may seem like the death-toll to a week’s worth of teaching, but (thankfully?) I have been in this situation before so I had some ideas of what to do.  When I was in Mexico, my students took great pleasure in being the one to give (read yell) the instructions to the class.  “Oye!  Oye!  The Meese says you need to…”  So, I dusted off the cobwebs & used several of the same strategies this week.  Ironically, many of them are just good everyday teaching practices.

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Living in a post-daylight savings world

Ah, daylight savings. How we love the extra sunlight at the end of the day.  And, loath the lost hour of sleep.

Overall, it’s been a great week of student-led conferences, talking with parents about last weekend’s group lesson (kids loved it), & listening to some really inspirational podcasts. The downside?  Exhaustion. How can 1 lost hour cause so much havoc?  I read that melatonin can reduce the effects of jet lag.  Which led to the realization that perhaps this supplement may have also helped with post-daylight savings tiredness.  Ironically, this was 5 nights after the clocks changed.  Not much help there.

What are your post-daylight savings tips?  Perhaps naps, drinking extra liquids, or taking the long way when waking to pick up the kids  (my methods of choice this week)?  Or, do you have another tried & true method for battling the clock?

Happy napping as you catch up on sleep!  

Checking In With the Masses (or at least your studio)

How do you know which changes you will make for the next academic year?  More importantly, do you know how your clients will react to them?  While teaching piano is a pretty stable career choice, this time of year can be a little stressful in figuring out who will re-enroll & who will be moving on.  Especially if you are a “don’t count your eggs before they are in the basket” type of person like me.  While it’s always worked out in the end, I’ve realized that you never really know exactly who will stay & who will go.  Or, what if there IS something you can do to help your crystal ball be just that little bit more accurate?  Continue reading “Checking In With the Masses (or at least your studio)”

The teacher becomes the student: Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the MusicEdConnect 2016 conference I attended last week.  To read about the advantages of this amazing conference, read “The Teacher Becomes the Student: Part 1”.  I highly recommend purchasing the Replay Pass to watch videos of each presenter’s workshop!  Each of the 4-post series is about the workshops for a particular day.  That’s right, 4 full days of piano ed goodness!  Continue reading “The teacher becomes the student: Part 2”

The teacher becomes the student: Part 1

It has been a busy week, in the best possible way.  This week has been the MusicEdConnect (MEC) 2016 conference!

At the beginning of January, I let all my families know that this was going to be a video lesson week.  “I’m going to be geeking out with other piano teachers from all over the world!  So, while you won’t see me here, I’ll send a video that let’s you know what to work on while your teacher becomes a student again.”  Needless to say, everyone was highly supportive & my students got a kick out hearing that I was stepping into their shoes for a whole week. Continue reading “The teacher becomes the student: Part 1”