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Find the Best Christmas Sheet Music

Last Updated on 2022-11-30 | Originally Posted on 2020-11-21

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

Christmas songbooks that are sold in the mass market, like at Sam’s Club, on Amazon.com, or at your local bookstore, are not thoughtfully compiled with piano students in mind. You’ll get a lot of songs at a reasonable price, but the arrangements will vary in difficulty from page to page. They’re often too complicated for beginners, but too easy and boring for advanced students.

Fortunately, there are many Christmas songbooks compiled with the piano student in mind. Some of these work great for amateur pianists as well. Faber and Piano Pronto are my favorite publishers for these books. There is an overwhelming number of choices even with a singular publisher, so be prepared to spend some time searching for the right book(s).

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Halloween Piano Party 2022

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-10-25
Last Updated on 2022-11-01 | 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 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-03-10

Introduction

Time and place have more to do with practice than any others. 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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Track Your Practice Time

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-01-05

Introduction

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.

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Tough Social Media Decisions for 2022

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2022-01-01

Introduction

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.

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Good Enough

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2021-11-22

Introduction

“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.

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Lessons from My Website Hacking

Last Updated on 2022-11-08 | Originally Posted on 2021-11-21

Introduction

I found my Website hacked on November 11, 2021, and spent half the night trying to recover it. I found this out by accident while I was doing some other maintenance. Before explaining more, here’s my setup: This WordPress instance is pre-loaded using what’s called WP Hosting. That means that I don’t have cPanel for this instance, which turned out to be a minor detail in how I proceeded. (I do use cPanel on a separate server that I use strictly for testing.)

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Halloween Piano Party 2021

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2021-10-29

Introduction

This past Saturday, October 23rd, we had our third annual Halloween Piano Party. The event made its debut in 2018 but skipped last year due to the pandemic. I decided to do things a little bit differently this year. Instead of doing one event for all, I set up four rolling start times each half-hour so that people wouldn’t have to stay for the entire event. It enabled folks to rotate people in and out of the room so that we had adequate social distance. We all wore masks (the Covid-19 type) except during photos and playing.

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Terrific Technique

Last Updated on 2022-11-30 | Originally Posted on 2021-10-25

Introduction

What is terrific technique? It’s an aspiration for any pianist at any level because it makes playing easier. What’s not easy is talking about it. I realized there must be a reason that I hadn’t covered this topic previously in my Practice Corner articles. Is it because technique is a given, and doesn’t merit discussion? Or is it just a harder topic to flesh out? I think it’s both!

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What A Lesson Looks Like

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2021-10-08

Introduction

Many prospective piano parents ask me how I teach. I prefer to answer with what a lesson looks like since that removes a lot of the variables that go into this very loaded question. Just to simplify this a bit, I’m going to describe here what a lesson looks like for a beginner. I teach intermediate and advanced students as well, but they tend to be much more customized since they involve older students.

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Going the Second Mile

Last Updated on 2022-11-30 | Originally Posted on 2021-09-19

Introduction

I remember seeing this expression on a motivational poster decades ago, where a runner is shown in full stride with no one else in sight. The others gave up before going the second mile. I’ve known both mid- to long-distance runners, and most of them wouldn’t bother to lace up just to do a mile. But what the expression originally refers to has nothing about recreational runnning.

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