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.

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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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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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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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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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Our Favorite Composers/Books

  • Frederic Chopin
    Chopin is Elizabeth's favorite composer for the piano. In fact, he composed ONLY for the piano. It is no wonder many of her more advanced students enjoy playing his music also!
  • John Williams
    John Williams has been composing music for movies for such a long time! Many of the students enjoy playing the music from "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter," two of his most loved musical scores.
  • Melody Bober
    Melody Bober is such a popular composer with our students! We think it is because she is from Minnesota. So she knows what Minnesotans like in their music!
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