Recital 2020 Performances!!

Recital 2019 Performances

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Teaching Students the Joy of Music Since 2001

Guitar Tapp

​Guitar Tapp (available in Apple and Google and Windows) is a fun tab browser and tab storage app for guitar players.  It has a very simple search and you can see the different types of tabs available for the song (power tab, chord tab, etc).  You can store the tabs on your device and if you sign up for an account you can store them on the Guitar Tapp cloud.  The most awesome feature of this app is that you can edit the tabs!

How to Teach Dotted Notes

​When I ask a student what a dot does to a note, the answer I usually get is that is adds 1 beat. This is because in most schools students are first taught about the dotted half note. In the case of the dotted half note the dot does get 1 beat but the students don't know why. Here is a video that shows the most effective way I have found for teaching what a dot does to the value of a note.

The Importance of Students Taking Ownership

Learning music is a personal journey.  Each student has their own moment when they realize that the music lessons are something important to them - it is then that they start to take ownership of their lessons.  Then the parents can sit back and enjoy watching and listening to the student grow as a musician.

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Fantastic Dance by Shostakovich

Here is is a song I worked on in my teens.  I never quite got the hang of the intricate fingerings and the big jumps.  Even now it is a challenge for me!  Here is my best attempt.  Or as one of my students put it  -  "with as little mistakes as possible."

 

Artist Name - FantasticDance.mp3

Week of Jan 25th Independent Lab Project

The students at Music Masters of Chanhassen spend 30 minutes in lesson with their teacher and then they have a 15 min Independent Lab Project.  We started having the lab projects over 20 years ago.  It gives the students a chance to work on a project that relates to what we were doing in the lesson.

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Failure Is a Learning Tool

I do not even know how many times I have heard students say "I can't do it" or "It's too hard."  A variation on this theme are the moans and groans that accompany those many little failures that come with learning a new concept or a new song.  It is a very important life skill for students to learn that these failures are the path to mastering a concept or achieving a goal, and to accept their mistakes as something important and positive.

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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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Gavotte by Prokofieff - (first section)

Here is the first part of a cute little gavotte by Prokofieff.  Enjoy!

 

Artist Name - ProkofieffGavotte1.11.2016.mp3

Learning How to Teach Improvising

Well after 15 years of teaching I am going into new territory...I am working with students to develop their improvising skills.  It seems strange that I have not specifically done this yet.  I have used improvising as a fun "extra" thing to do, or an afterthought, or a means to an end for creating a composition - but never really on its own as something special and important.

I was not sure how my students would respond, but I am happy to say I am so amazed and impressed at their creativity and ideas!!!!  It is getting me really excited about working with them to learn more about improvising!

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Finding Songs for Students

This is the time of year where Ellie and I are finding recital songs for our students.  I have such a fun time with this!  It is neat to share music with students that they have not heard before and see them get interested in it and excited about playing it. 

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