Showing posts from August, 2019

Young Composers 2019

I'll be honest, this is truly one of my favorite blog posts to write every year. I'm just so thrilled to unveil our student compositions! And this summer I was particularly excited to relaunch the Young Composers summer program after having to pause it last year due to the studio relocating. Having a composing focus rolled back into our regular summer curriculum reflects the value this studio places on creativity and self-expression as a crucial part of learning to play an instrument. Composing & notating music is also a terrific way to apply music theory knowledge and gain a more fluent understanding of the concepts learned in lessons. And that's definitely something we saw happening this year! So many students, from beginning through advanced levels, impressed me with their ability to take what they were playing on the piano and translate that into sheet music using the notation software with very minimal guidance. And then we went one step further and during our

Fall into Music Practice Challenge

Our School Year Session will soon be under way, and as we head into September, we're going to participate into the "Fall into Music" Practice Challenge hosted by the Piano Parent Podcast. This is a short-term, world-wide practice challenge where each student tries to practice 20 days during the month of September. Any student who completes the challenge will receive a completion certificate, AND a brag photo on the studio social media. We know that the real work of learning to play an instrument is in the practice time spent between lessons, and we know that parents are the ones who have the tough job of reinforcing the practice habit at home. This challenge is designed to help us start off the school year with some real motivation to practice, making the job of getting your kids back to the piano a bit easier! So how does the Fall into Music challenge work?  Each student will be given a practice chart to take home and track their practice days.  (And if you'd

Digital Piano Recommendations

Please note: this blog post was written in 2019. Some of the prices listed may have changed.  Starting piano lessons for a lot of people means that we have to look at acquiring an instrument. Today, I'm sharing my favorite digital models for beginning piano students. These are at a lower price point than comparable instruments, but still provide the hammer action feel, touch sensitivity and good quality sound samples that replicate a grand piano well.  If you are deciding between an acoustic & a digital, be sure to check out this article , and if you're in the market for a used piano keep the tips in this article in mind . So if you're still reading, you've decided on a digital, and are wanting to know the best, affordable options that will still provide the quality your budding pianist needs. All pianos listed below feature Graded Hammer Standard or Weighted Keys, meaning the keys are engineered to feel like an acoustic piano. Having this feature shortens t

Piano Maestro

Since I am in prep week between the summer and school year sessions, this post is all about how you can prep at home by setting up Piano Maestro, AND how we can use it to encourage practice by enabling the Home Practice challenge. I've had several parents recently ask me about the piano lab set up after watching their kids sit down and be self-motivated to sight read music using the Piano Maestro app. And that's because this app uses the best parts of gaming technology & the psychology of gamification to create an environment where piano students are learning new notes and technic while actively sight reading and practicing on their actual piano (not just interacting with the screen). All the while, they are receiving in-game rewards and milestones that keep them excited to work for excellence and to progress forward. What you need: A piano (acoustic or digital both work) and an iPad. First step: let me know that you'd like to try Piano Maestro at home and I w