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Comparative Listening

Last Updated on 2024-07-07 | Originally Posted on 2024-06-07

Introduction

Comparative listening in classical music refers to listening to several different recordings of the same piece, deciding what you like (or don’t) about each performance. It’s a great way to deepen your listening skills, which can help you listen more carefully to your own playing. I prescribed this type of listening recently to a couple of students who are preparing for the finals of a music competition, and I’m sharing a couple of those examples here as well.

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Minuet and Trio

Last Updated on 2024-06-22 | Originally Posted on 2024-03-19

Introduction

The minuet and trio is a structure that began in the early Baroque, though matured through the Classical and Romantic Eras. This structure is also called A-B-A, where the minuet played at the beginning is repeated at the end, with the trio in the middle. The minuet is a court dance from the early 17th century. However, why is the trio called a trio? I am now well-equipped at answering this question, if it ever comes along again.

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Outfit Your Keyboard

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-12-09

This post has no affiliate links. In other words, I don’t get any compensation as a result of purchases made using these links.

Introduction

One of the biggest issues I see when new students buy budget keyboards, those that are in the sub-$1000 range, is that they don’t get the right extras. Even though the makers call these accessories, I like to deem them as essentials. If you are interested in what brands and models I like, you can find that in a longer article on my website, Choose the Right Piano. The focus of this post is solely to make sure you get the three essential items you’ll need to outfit your piano perfectly!

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Pros and Cons of Music Memorization

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-07-19

Introduction

My second long-form blog post for the Colourful Keys blog is based on the Pros and Cons of Music Memorization. I grew up in traditional piano lessons where a fair amount of your repertoire was not only expected, but required to be memorized. After working a number of years as a piano instructor, my view has changed quite a bit.

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Late Patrick’s Day Piano Party 2023

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-04-09
Please Note: This page has a Vibrant Music Teaching link. It provides a discount for my continuing membership without costing you anything.

Introduction

This past Saturday, April 1st, we had our second annual Late Patrick’s Day Piano Party. I’ve typically held a springmusic festival warm-up event, but it was only recently that I added the fun components. This year, an extremely warm sunny day plus a lack of written communication from me meant that we had fewer participants than normal. Those that attended seemed to have fun.

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Music Theory Is Important

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-03-06

Introduction

Music theory is important to the study of piano because it describes the language of music composition. It’s comparable to teaching English as a comprehensive subject versus just having a period of silent reading with no analysis.

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Quick Start Guide for Online Lessons

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-02-01
This page has Amazon.com affiliate links. It helps support my website at no cost to you.

Introduction

This a slimmed-down version of the online lesson guide that I wrote during the early days of Covid isolation in 2020. I’ve included all of the pertinent information from that article while trying to make it more readable with clear headings and feature blocks.

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Guide Your Child to Independent Practice

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2023-01-19

Introduction

Let’s face it: Kids don’t always look forward to practice, even if they enjoy playing piano. Parents can easily get overwhelmed and forget to check if daily practice occurs. The result? Piano progress sometimes comes to a grinding halt. That is where you can guide your child to independent practice.

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Halloween Piano Party 2022

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2022-10-25

Introduction

This past Saturday, October 22nd, we had our fourth annual Halloween Piano Party. The event debuted in 2018, but we skipped it entirely in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns. Each year I try to do something a little different and learn along the way what worked and what didn’t! The participants had a good time, including the chance to play a piece or two in a low-stress environment.

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Time and Place

Last Updated on 2024-06-11 | Originally Posted on 2022-03-10

Introduction

Time and place can often greatly influence practice. It depends. For some, they are tightly linked, but for others, they may not be. If you’ve been finding it difficult to get a practice routine established, or your old routine doesn’t work any longer, make this powerful combination your best friend.

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