Showing posts from March, 2020

Piano Studio Tour!

Today I'm sharing a quick video tour of our piano studio! Please forgive the camera shakes as this is just an informal video blog to invite you all into the studio for a look around. Whether you are someone who follows the studio from online, or an enrolled student that has made the social distancing switch to online lessons, come on in and enjoy a minute or two in our studio - including some new posters! Also, since I'm set up for online lessons at present, you can see what my basic online teaching setup looks like. For anyone at home (student or teacher) who is making the switch to online lessons needing some encouragement, hopefully this will help.  And here's the video tour:  Be well, be safe and stay in touch these next couple months!


Back in January we did a Happy Birthday practice challenge, and in order to present a real learning opportunity for some of the studio's intermediate and advancing students, I turned this into a chance to work on transposing the traditional melody & accompaniment to a few different keys. It was such a valuable exercise for these students that I'm going to try to incorporate this more frequently into our regular study, but also thought I'd share a blog post for our studio parents about what transposing is and why it is a valuable skill for a musician.  What is transposing?  Simply put, transposing is when we take a song that is written in a certain key, and move it to a different key.  Why would we want to transpose a piece?  I've found that it most often comes into play when arranging music, or when accompanying a vocalist. For example, sometimes when rehearsing a vocalist may discover that the original key takes the melody out of their comfortable singing r

Piano Parent Podcast - Flipping the Script

This is going to be a quick blog post, but it's about something that I think can be incredibly valuable for piano parents (and teachers!) to keep in mind as a way to encourage piano students.  Last month the Piano Parent Podcast did an episode where Shelly & her guest Kate Webb talked about 10 ways to 'Flip the Script'. I really enjoyed this episode because it addresses how important our own internal narrative is in our ability to be successful, and to feel confident and positive about what we are learning. If we tell ourselves that we are 'bad at piano,' then we're going to believe it and that becomes part of our story, but if we remind ourselves that we're just learning something new it can completely reshape how we approach our piano practice. I'm embedding the podcast player from the Piano Parent Podcast website here so you can listen to the full discussion, and hopefully find some new, fresh ways to help your piano kid turn discouragement,

Preschool Piano - What We Are Learning

Preschool piano lessons are a wonderful opportunity for young children, not only to start learning how to play an instrument, but also to reinforce coordination, early math skills, contrasts and listening skills etc. I know there's a lot of curiosity about what a preschooler can actually accomplish at the piano, so in today's post, we're taking a closer look at all that we learn in preschool piano lessons, and how that learning carries forward. Since I use the Wunderkeys method for Preschoolers, this post focuses on how that method progresses through essential skills. I'm including an infographic from the Wunderkeys method authors, but also expanding on that with my own observations. Aural Skills   In book one of the preschool method, students learn aural contrasts like high/low, long/short, and moving higher/moving lower. As we move into book two this expands into counting sounds and recognizing aural patterns. In book three, preschool students start to listen for

Practicing Tips for Beginning Students

One of the most common questions when students are first starting lessons is 'how much should we practice?' and I love getting this question because it means studio parents are prepared to support home practice and encourage their child to be successful in their piano study. But sometimes with really young beginners practice doesn't look exactly how we might visualize it. In today's blog post, I'm collecting some of my favorite practice tips for young beginners to be used as a resource when new students join the studio.  Nearly all young beginners in this studio (under 7 years old) will start in the Wunderkeys method, either at the preschool or primer level depending on their age. These suggestions take into account the types of activities & warm ups those books include as part of regular lesson & practice.  Be present -  Most students under 7 do not yet have the ability to self regulate and go through their practice assignments entirely on their own.