I am very passionate about bringing the joy of music into the lives of the children and adults that I work with. I have been teaching for 50+ years and I hope to continue for a long time.

How to Learn to Play Complex Rhythms

One of my students several years ago had a recital piece that the rhythms between the left hand and right hand were really hard for him. As I had done with many of my students I told him to try what I called "lap-slap" the rhythms. So you take the rhythm of the left hand and the rhythm of the right hand and you slap them out on your thighs VERY SLOWY while saying something like:  right - left - together - left etc. Then you gradually work up to full speed.

So this year his recital piece has four different sections with very complex rhythms. So he tried the "lap-slap" technic and again it helped him a lot.

Here is an audio of Joe first demonstrating the four different rhythm sections and then playing the entire piece.

Artist Name - JoeFlemencoFireweb.m4a
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Catching Butterflies (Garage Band Project)

​My students have begun creating a spring project in their music lessons so this is a short one that I created as a demo for them.  The students look forward to this project each year of creating something in music and Garage Band is a favorite app for them.

Artist Name - Catching Butterflies.m4a
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Music Notation - Hand Written vs Notation App

I began my own music studies about 65 years ago and writing music by hand, and even sometimes hand drawing the staff lines, was common place as part of my lesson assignment. I thought it was so neat to write music, even if my assignment was to only draw treble clef signs, bass clef signs and notes of different value such as whole, half, quarter and eighth notes...​

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Black and White

If you were born back in the 40's, 50's and maybe even early 60's you only had Black and White TV. Of course we didn't mind because that was all we had ever seen. However, after several years of the joy of watching our favorite shows in color it was a real let down to see something in Black and White...​

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Using the Metronome - Eye of the Tiger

​Here is an excerpt from a practice video I made for one of my students.

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Zoom Lesson Example

​Here are some clips of things I would be doing in a Zoom lesson.  (Zoom is a video conferencing app like Skype)

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Using Melody Patterns in Composition

​This is a lovely composition idea one of my students created by using a repeating melody pattern.

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The Importance of Finger Numbers

​Choosing the right finger numbers for the student and the notes is important.  Here is an example from the other day with one of my students.


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Electronic Song

​Here is a song one of my students created.  He created all the parts of this song by playing them in on the keyboard - no pre-set patterns!

Artist Name - SamGBProject.mp3
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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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