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. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of Music Memorization”
Last Updated on 2023-07-19 | Originally Posted on 2023-04-09
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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. Continue reading “Late Patrick’s Day Piano Party 2023”
Last Updated on 2023-04-09 | Originally Posted on 2023-03-06
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. Continue reading “Music Theory Is Important”
Last Updated on 2023-03-05 | Originally Posted on 2023-02-01
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This a slim-down of my original online lesson guide that I wrote during the early days of Covid isolation in the spring of 2020. Please read the original article if you want more information on optimizing your connection or to see a variety of equipment you can buy to make online lessons a better experience. Continue reading “Quick Start Guide for Online Lessons”
Last Updated on 2023-03-05 | Originally Posted on 2023-01-19
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. Continue reading “Guide Your Child to Independent Practice”
Last Updated on 2022-12-07 | Originally Posted on 2022-10-25
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. Continue reading “Halloween Piano Party 2022”
Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-03-10
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. Continue reading “Time and Place”
Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-01-05
You’ve decided to learn piano, but do you have a practice goal? I talk about how to Set a Practice Goal in a separate blog post. Once you set a practice goal, it can be helpful to see if you’re meeting that goal. I can guarantee that you won’t be able to meet your goal without sufficient practice. I’ll start by showing you how I track my practice time. Continue reading “Track Your Practice Time”
Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-01-01
On the last day of 2021, I had the time to take a look at what went wrong with my social media strategy. I’m all for being active on social media, but I need to find out how to be more efficient or I’ll just abandon it for weeks at a time. What I discovered is that I wasn’t delineating between the two separate things I do, teaching and performing. Each needs to have its own strategy, and from there I need to develop easier tactics to manage content for each audience. Continue reading “Tough Social Media Decisions for 2022”
Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2021-11-22
“Never good enough” was the original title I proposed for this post. That along with “How to discourage and demoralize a piano student” as the short description. I hope it’s obvious I don’t endorse any of this “never good enough” stuff. However, I experienced it first hand during my first two years of piano study at music school. I noticed a lot of this, across many students and teachers, during the six years I spent earning my BFA and MM degrees.
I realize that I had a lot to learn and that constructive criticism is key to learning how to make a piece better. However, spending an inordinate amount of time on a piece and picking it to death is not the road to success. Continue reading “Good Enough”