Showing posts from May, 2020

The Value of Composing in Piano Lessons

One of my favorite things to do each year is revisit our Young Composers program during summertime lessons, and in today's post I'm outlining some of the reasons why I feel giving music students the chance to compose their own music is an incredibly valuable creative exercise.  Reinforces Music Fluency We spend a lot of time in lessons learning to hear and see music from a musician's point of view. We learn to read notes, to hear intervals and chords, we identify the quality of our music with terms like 'major' and 'minor'. All of this works together to create music fluency. When we write music we get to reinforce some of these essential skills:  Note Literacy - when we write or type up the notes for a composition, we're interacting with those notes from a new perspective that will help to remember them better in the future. Dynamics & Expressive Tools - especially for young musicians, expressive markings in the music can easily get overloo

COVID-19 Update: Studio Reopening Procedures

Here's our studio plan to resume the option for in-person lessons in compliance with the Kansas phased reopening plan. (And if you're a piano student reading this, go practice a song every time you read the word 'reopening'! ;D) If you are not familiar with Governor Kelly's phased reopening guidelines,  I've put all the images at the bottom of the page for reference. The good news is: The studio will be able to  resume in-person lessons when the state has reached Phase 2. Hooray! After that we will follow the example of the local schools - if they are doing hybrid or in-person learning, we will too. If they are full remote, we will be too.  We'll also be taking some extra precautions when that happens, and specifically making some changes to the studio layout, waiting area and cleaning procedures between lessons to help keep everyone safe. Please read these below.  The online studio will remain open for the forseeable future. This means if you have t

How to keep momentum during a Studio Break

A break from the routine can be a good thing once in a while, but for students who are wanting to keep up their momentum a studio break can leave them wondering what to work on! Since we have a good long studio break coming up between May 2nd and June 7th, I'm sharing a few ideas of what to do with some time off of lessons. Review some of the year's favorite pieces On May 2nd we'll be finishing up a terrific school year session during which students have learned a lot of great music! A break from getting assigned new material is the perfect time to go back through and pull out some of the year's favorites to play through again. In addition to the fun of revisiting some favorites, this will have the added benefit of reviewing the theory and techniques that we learned along with those pieces. Learn something by ear, purchased sheet music or an online tutorial Most piano students have a favorite artist, movie or song that they would like to be able to play on the p