Piano Maestro

Piano Maestro is an app that Ellie introduced me to. It is such fun for the students! It is especially nice for younger beginners to be able to play songs made into a game-like format.

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Keeping Problem Solving Positive

As music teachers we have all experienced the frustration with ourselves and seen the frustration in our students when they're just not "getting it." Even after 15 years of teaching I still have occasional students where none of my bag of tricks will work for them, and I have to go back to the drawing board to find a solution to their problem.

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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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The Benefits of Private Lessons - Individualized Teaching

"There is a massive benefit from being musical that we don’t understand, but it’s individual." - Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University

Ellie and I see these benefits every day in our students! The excitement of learning a new skill, the enjoyment of playing a song, the pride of performing a piece well in a recital, the creativity of composing a piece...the list could go on! It is recognizing the individual experience of each student that we emphasize in our teaching.

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New Composition - Jumping George

Now that Summer is settled in I can continue my student-level composition project!

Here is the latest one:

Summer Lessons = FUN!!!!!!!!

Well the Summer lessons have begun! Ellie and I are in full swing with new students, Summer band students, fun projects and composing!!

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Student Performances Recital 2015!

Well it has been another eventful recital preparation time. The students have done some great work and it is all coming to an end after this Sunday.

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Navigating the Rough Patches - Teacher Support

This post is part one of this subject of "rough patches" for students. There can be many types of rough patches - practicing, attitude, motivation, enjoyment. Here are some things that I have learned a teacher can do to help get that "spark" back into the lessons.

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Recital Time 2015!!!!!!

Well it has been a while since I posted anything!!! During March is my main recital push. I am organizing who is in what recital and making sure everyone is on track!

I also often get the "Winter Blues" in March - and this year is no exception...

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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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Our Favorite Composers/Books

  • 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!
  • 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.
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