Recital 2020 Performances!!

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Teaching Students the Joy of Music Since 2001

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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337 Hits

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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345 Hits

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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803 Hits

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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824 Hits

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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755 Hits

Finding the Rhythm

​The most important part of rhythm is to have the student feel the beat as a part of them, and then use that to play the song.  I always tell my students they have rhythm or else the would not be able to walk without tripping or chew without biting their tongues.  The trick is to get them to tap into this normally unconscious rhythm sense, make it conscious, and then apply it to a song.

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1272 Hits

Giving Structure to Composing

​Watching a student create a song is so much fun. Sometimes there are silly or unexpected things that happen with the music that become part of the song, sometimes there is a complete change in direction for the idea of the piece, and sometimes it takes a while for the piece to even begin! Having some structure can help speed up the creative process while still leaving opportunity for things to change as creativity flows!

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  1039 Hits
1039 Hits

Developing Good Sight Reading Habits

​When I introduce new material at each lesson, the student is doing "sight reading" (playing music for the first time).  Until recently, this is all I would do with sight reading and students would naturally get better at it.  Now I have learned to identify the students that need extra help to develop good sight reading and some ways to help them.

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1063 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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978 Hits

Make Theory Alive!

​There are many ways to teach theory. There are worksheets and tests and exams, but those methods are only motivational for students who enjoy taking tests ( that would be me!) I prefer to teach theory in an experimental and experiential way. Here are a few examples!!

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  1039 Hits
1039 Hits