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...
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.
Many students I have worked with have a period of time when they are trying to physically get comfortable with their instrument. Whether it is piano keys, guitar strings, or clarinet/trumpet/etc. keys there are ways students have to use their hands to maximize their comfort and relaxation.
I spent some time this weekend arranging the first half of "The Christmas Song" for a student. He is thinking of playing it for recital this year. It was a very fun challenge!
One of my go-to apps for guitar students when we are talking about theory is "Guitarist's Reference." I mostly use this with my more advanced students to relate chords and scales together. It is available online at www.guitaristsreference.com and in the Windows app store, the Apple app store, the Amazon for Android app store, the Chrome web store and on Google Play.
One of the many practice tips we give to our parents is finding the "right" time for practicing. There can be many factors in this - time of day, attitude of the student, other activities going on in the home during practicing. So what is the "right" time?
Teachers - has there ever been a student of yours who seems to be going nowhere, or worse - de-progressing? And it is a student with ability - you can see it during the lesson. They can play music - and play it very well, in fact! It could be an issue with practicing, motivation, self-confidence - a number of factors. Sometimes it helps to have a nice "heart-to-heart" discussion with a student to see what is going on with them.
So I have recently gotten back into the habit of practicing after spending several months updating our website. My practicing "trick" to make sure I have a daily practice time is something we suggest to our students all the time - hook your practice time to a specific daily event!
Well I finally feel like I am back in the swing of things by the 2nd week of the year! Lots of new songs to arrange for students for potential recital pieces, lots of new students to prepare for. The changes throughout the year sure keep a piano teacher on her toes!
Composing with articulation in mind is natural for many students. Especially if their song is telling a story. Making sure to include that articulation in writing down the song is important for the teacher so the student can really see how their articulation sounds are communicated to others. They will also learn to pay more attention to the articulations when they learn new songs.