Outfit Your Keyboard

Last Updated on 2024-02-03 | 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 2023-11-16 | 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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Quick Start Guide for Online Lessons

Last Updated on 2024-02-01 | Originally Posted on 2023-02-01
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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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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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Music Reading Through Rote Teaching

Last Updated on 2024-02-17 | Originally Posted on 2020-08-16

Introduction

I was asked by Sarah Folkerts to write a long-form blog post that became Music Reading Through Rote Teaching. She works with Nicola Cantan on the Colourful Keys Website and the membership site Vibrant Music Teaching. It all started as a result of my trying to reconcile how something sounds with the musical notation.

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Adult Piano Lesson Experiment

Last Updated on 2024-02-04 | Originally Posted on 2019-07-26

Scenario

I’m sure that you’ve heard the classic cliché: The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results. How does this relate to adult piano lessons? I’ve come to the conclusion that most adults are not able to sustain a long-term commitment to the piano. There are some success stories, but in general, it ends sooner rather than later. All of a sudden it hit me – what if the problem is the interval? Enter the adult piano lesson experiment!

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Summer Lessons Experience

Last Updated on 2024-02-04 | Originally Posted on 2018-08-08

I just completed my first full year of teaching at Shepherd Music School. When I last taught in a similar setting, the school closed over the summer. Students could study privately as long as it wasn’t onsite. In that case, my summer students were a subset of the ones that I had from the school year, and tended to be the more serious ones. I wasn’t recruiting or adding any students. And, as expected, most of them came back to the school in the fall.

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Summer Project – Playing by Ear

Last Updated on 2024-02-04 | Originally Posted on 2018-07-27

This post, Summer Project – Playing by Ear, is the third in a three-part series under the category of Piano Teaching. I honestly had enough on my plate with my other two projects: researching iPad apps and learning how to offer online lessons. Obviously, I was wrong since I immediately attached to the charisma of Ruth Power when I saw her on a Webinar. As a result, I completed her free Ear Bootcamp and then enrolled in her formal course Songs by Ear.

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Summer Project – Online Lesson Academy

Last Updated on 2024-02-04 | Originally Posted on 2018-05-28

This post, Summer Project – Online Lesson Academy, is the second in a three-part series under the category of Piano Teaching. I invested in a reasonably priced online course given by the Upbeat Piano Teachers, a team of two – Sara Campbell and Tracy Selle. Sara was mentioned in a Webinar given by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). As a result, I listed her as a piano teaching resource in this post, which speaks about her own site and blog, Sara’s Music Studio.

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