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 is now 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 place on the studio social media wall of fame. In addition, we will be running a total of 4 one-month practice challenges throughout this school year, and any student who completes 2 or more of them will win an exclusive Dawn's Piano tote bag. This will be great for carrying their piano books to and from the studio! So how does the Fall into Music challenge work?  Well 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 reinforce the practice habit at home. This challenge is des

Digital Piano Recommendations

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 the learning curve on transitioning from a keyboard to an acoustic, so that when a student is

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