Showing posts from August, 2018

Podcast Interviews

During the month of July, I was invited to participate in two different podcasts. In today's post, I'm sharing a little of my personal professional journey, and my excitement with you about each these opportunities. Any who've followed the blog recently will know that this has been a very transitional year with my move & re-imagining my studio to incorporate both online & group lessons. The support from the piano teaching community at large has been terrific, and I was so happy to be able to return the favor in giving to these two interviews. The first conversation I had was with the Piano Parent Podcast, which you've all heard about from me before. I LOVE what Shelly does with this podcast in seeking to equip & encourage parents through the ups and downs of piano study. If you haven't already checked out this podcast, I highly recommend it. And if you'd like to hear the 'Teacher Chat' episode that featured myself, Becki Laurent &

Arts After School

Today is my first day embarking on a bit of new music teaching endeavor with Arts After School. This program is a non-profit after school program for middle school students here in McPherson, and enrollment is 100% free to students! This year we are offering Modern Band (think Pop/Rock ensemble), Drawing & Culinary Arts. If you hadn't guessed, I will be helping out with the musical end of things in the Modern Band classes & coaching the keyboard players. Part of the reason I signed on for this when I'm already in the midst of rebuilding my private studio, is that I really like what this program is offering. Arts after School is giving these kids useful skills to build their self-esteem, confidence and self-expression while helping them find a productive way to spend those after school hours before parents get home from work.  In partnership with the Community Foundation, the program is working on their IMAGINE initiative. This is the process of putting together a

Say Something - Intermediate Piano Solo

This is an arrangement that was requested by a student several years back, and was a studio favorite among my intermediate students for a few years following that. One student would perform it at a recital, and others would ask to learn it after the performance. I even had one young lady who was asked by her priest to perform it in church after he heard her playing it in one of the Sunday School rooms because he liked the sound of it. The arrangement provides a good introduction to triplets because the tempo of the piece is very slow and the majority of the melody's rhythm is triplets. The solo also features a section of the melody played in octaves, providing good practice in right hand octaves and creating that epic, full sound  that we know our teen students love, before the song winds down. You can listen to the arrangement below, and if you're interested in trying it out for yourself or a student, the sheet music is available for purchase on Sheet Music Plus .

Making the Most of Your Video Lesson

It's inevitable that once in a while we will have a conflict with piano lesson schedules. When this happens, you can request a recorded video lesson to do at your convenience.  And let me tell you, I love these as an alternative to missing lessons, because they keep your piano kid's progress and momentum going, PLUS it is one less thing for you to reschedule, and it takes so much the stress out of those "oh no, we have a conflict!" realizations knowing we have a solid backup plan. So today's blog post is all about what's in a recorded video lesson, and how to make the most of it.  First up, what do I put in a recorded video lesson? Well, using your assignments from the previous week, I will record a video that's about 15-20 minutes long, and typically choose: an updated technical exercise expand on our method book piece, or add a new one same with repertoire and if applicable, a theory game Depending on your student & what they are