Recital 2020 Performances!!

Recital 2019 Performances

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Teaching Students the Joy of Music Since 2001

Imagine Fixing a Mistake!

There are some times when a student is working on fixing a mistake and things just don't seem to be going anywhere.  Here are a few reasons that this may happen.

1.  The student stops imagining the corrected sound or feel once they start playing, and just reverts back to the mistake

2.  The student does not have the precise imagination of sound or physical feeling in their mind that will make it possible to correct the mistake while they are playing

3.  The student has not found the proper thing to imagine (the sound of a steady beat, a different feeling in the rhythm of their hands, etc.) that will correct the mistake

Most students can get back on track with a reminder to do #1.  Sometimes #2 is simply a matter of the student paying more attention to the correction task.  And #3 is most typical if the student is trying something new and/or has not thought through exactly what it is about the music they are trying correct.  Once a student becomes more aware of how their mind is working while fixing a mistake, they can start using these solutions in their practice time.


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41 Hits

It Takes Time

​Many students have experienced unhelpful practicing, or as I like to call it "unpracticing."  For most students, the only change they need to make is to just slow down.  Slowing down can mean:

1.  Taking a break from playing to think about their practice goal

2.  Choosing a slower tempo so their mind can work on everything it needs to

3.  Calming their mind so they can focus on the practice task

So much practice frustration melts away when the student is aware of these ways of slowing down!  Realizing that things take whatever time they need to take is an important awareness not only for practicing, but for many other things in life.

  561 Hits
561 Hits

Imagine What You are Seeing

​Something I notice myself doing quite often with students is helping them to start imagining what the music sounds like before they play it.  This helps students get a sense of how correctly they are playing a song and get more out of their practice time.

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1308 Hits

Practice Strategy - Chaining

There are several ways of getting your recital piece to the finished, "Ready to Perform" stage. Our students have one month and one day to get to this point. So that is why I thought this would be a good topic for the March blog.

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1621 Hits

The "Real" Scoop on Memorizing

My students are beginning to prepare for the upcoming Spring recital and their pieces need to be memorized. I am using the "real" and best way to memorize music so that they won't get that brain freeze in the middle of their pieces. The "real" way to memorize a piece so that you will never ever forget it is to be able to take a blank piece of staff paper and write the entire piece out from memory.

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1347 Hits

Using Your "Mistake Intuition"

Many times in a lesson a student will turn to me as they are playing something, or sort of give me a little glance, or have a little pause in their playing with a look on their face that says "hmmmm..."  Any time I see a student doing these things more than a few times during a lesson, I will start explaining to them about how to listen to their "mistake intuition."

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  1105 Hits
1105 Hits

Navigating the Rough Patches - Parental Support

I was thinking about which category to post this article under, and I decided on "practice tips."  Parents are usually the ones around for practicing, and their advice, encouragement and support are important to the students as they learn how to practice.

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  1404 Hits
1404 Hits

Writing Stuff in the Music

Writing stuff in the music - when is it helpful?  Is there ever such a thing as writing too much in the music?

When students are working on songs I take the minimal approach to writing things in the music.  It makes sure they know what to really pay attention to.  And I encourage them to write things in themselves once they have seen some examples of how I write practice reminders for them.

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1506 Hits

Getting Ready for Your Lesson

I have been participating in several Teacher Webinars since this past January and I have also had coffee with other private teachers to share teaching ideas.

 

The one thing that came up more than anything else was having the students make more progress from one lesson to the next. It was concluded that when we explain to a student at a lesson what and how we want them to work on their pieces - often times by the time they actually sit down for their first practice session they have forgotten what we said to them. Of course we write the assignment out in their assignment notebook but many students have confessed to me that they don't read what I write. As frustrating as that is to me, I do appreciate that they are being honest.

 

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1630 Hits

Practicing vs. Playing

Practicing vs. Playing

I recently talked with my students about practicing and playing the piano. I wanted to find out if the students just work on the assignments that I give them each week or do they also spend just some fun time at the piano during the week.

It was about 50/50 who just practiced their lesson and never just played for the fun of it and those who practiced their lesson and also spent time just playing.

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  1423 Hits
1423 Hits