Showing posts from September, 2019

All of Me by John Legend - Sheet Music

This month's sheet music feature is All of Me by John Legend arranged for early intermediate piano solo.  With a clear melody and a chord based harmony, All of Me lends itself well to piano solo, especially since in the original artist recording, the accompaniment is played primarily by a piano. So it really doesn't take too much change for this piece to be pleasing to play for late beginners or early intermediates, and enjoyable to listen to for friends and family of young students. This arrangement is in the song's original key of A-flat, and will give early intermediate students some opportunity to practice a trickier key signature while playing a familiar melody. The melody is syncopated to follow the vocal line, with the harmony simplified to play the chords on the downbeats. Intermediate students who are ready for more complexity could be encouraged to use the chord progression to create an accompaniment pattern or rhythm of their own. The sheet music is publ

Improvising at Home

Earlier this month we had our first piano party of the new session where students learned about Improvisation. At our piano party, we discussed what it is, it's deep roots in classical, jazz and popular music and introduced some easy ways to get started, then we jammed with a Rock Your Way Back to School improv . Improvisation is a terrific rhythm and ear training tool, and the goal of this piano party was to help take some of the potential awkwardness or shyness out of this creative exercise. Today's blog post is looking at how you as a piano parent can support you piano kid improvising at home. What I'm going to share are some simple tips that even completely non-musical parents can use to create original improvisation with your piano kid. Some things to know about Improv:  Operates within a structure. Accomplished musicians rely on chord progressions, scales, knowledge of different genre styles, and tempo/rhythm structures to improvise. But total beginners can do

Jump rope

You've probably heard me talk about the Piano Parent Podcast before, and that's because it's a terrific resource for parents of piano students that covers a range of topics from getting creative with music and practice time, to common struggles, to some simple music theory lessons so parents know what's what in their students music.  Today, I'm sharing a recent discussion with piano teacher Vicki Conway that had some really insightful information about the importance of movement in brain development, and even gives some really simple activities we can do with kids to help them build some of those essential pathways in the brain to build skills in different kinds of reasoning and understanding.  I'm embedding both part 1 and part 2 of the conversation here so you can listen to them, and get the info straight from the source, and I'll also include some of my own thoughts below.  Developmental Fitness, Part 1   Developmental Fitness, Part 2

2019 Multi-Piano & Guitar Christmas Festival

Last week I told you about our first performance of the year, and here I am already talking about the second! And that's because our first on-stage performance is just a little over a month after the Fall Video Recital. On Saturday, December 14th our studio will be a part of the Multi-Piano & Guitar Christmas Festival . This annual show is a long standing tradition in McPherson, and a terrific way to kick off the holiday season with some piano ensemble and guitar ensemble Christmas music for an incredibly supportive audience. How it works:  We prepare the songs in lessons leading up to the show, and on the 14th will run rehearsals during the day leading up to the performance. (This means if you give me the go-ahead to sign up your student for the show, know that there will be a commitment earlier in the day to rehearse with their ensemble.) These rehearsals are mandatory, because as you can imagine, coordinating up to 16 pianists for each number can take some doi

Fall Video Recital

As we head into the Fall season, it's time to start thinking about our first performance opportunity of the school year - our Fall Video Recital!  This performance is a little different, because in it we bring together students  in McPherson & online from all over the country. Each student will record or submit a video of their prepared piece during lessons. Those videos will be compiled together, and on Saturday, November 2nd at 10:00am CST , that compilation will be posted on the Fall Video Recital facebook event as well as here on the blog.  Some of the things I love about a video recital:  Students are reminded that they are part of a national studio community, and get to cheer on their peers all over the country in the video comments. Family & friends who live out of the area and would love to support your piano kids can tune in from wherever they are. Having our first performance of the year be a recorded video helps build confidence for new students before