Minuet and Trio

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 2024-02-03 | 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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Two Tough Conversations with Prospective Piano Parents

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2021-01-29

Introduction

As a piano teacher, I find myself doing lots of things besides teaching lessons. For instance, I’ve added sanitizing skills to my arsenal! That includes supplying hydrogen peroxide and clean clothes to make sure the piano keys stay Covid-free! One of the more normal side activities is to speak to parents about teaching their kids. This happens a lot at the beginning of each semester. Turnover is part of the business due to the number of families that move into and out of our area each year.

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Find the Best Christmas Sheet Music

Last Updated on 2024-02-17 | 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.

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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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How to Succeed in the Recording Process

Last Updated on 2022-11-10 | Originally Posted on 2020-05-01

Introduction

This article was originally intended to help my students prepare for their first recorded recital in May 2020, two months after lessons went online due to Covid-19 confinement. I’m repurposing it to preparing for any recording because it’s a different preparation process from live playing. You might say, yeah, it’s actually easier because you can record yourself as much as you want, and then just choose the best take. However, that flexibility can actually make the recording process much more difficult!

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Video Recording Guide

Last Updated on 2022-11-16 | Originally Posted on 2020-04-13

Introduction

This article is specifically intended to help piano parents in my studio to make online recordings for recitals and festivals. As so much of music-making has been in 2020, these events have been online-only since March. We might as well get used to doing it well!

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Playful Preschool Piano Teaching

Last Updated on 2024-02-17 | Originally Posted on 2019-10-31

Introduction

Nicola Cantan’s new book, Playful Preschool Piano Teaching 1, is about teaching piano to 3-5 year-olds with listening, learning, and laughter (her subtitle) is a revelation. I am currently a paid member of Nicola’s Vibrant Music Teaching, so some of the concepts introduced were not new. However, it’s a great pocket guide to the challenges and opportunities for young pianists.

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Music Apps for Beginners

Last Updated on 2024-05-04 | Originally Posted on 2019-07-25

Summary

Several years ago, I set out to find music apps I could heartily recommend to my beginners. Two of the biggest challenges for beginners are on-the-staff reading and rhythm, so I was looking to find the best app for each. I also wanted to find the best metronome app, for those that prefer an app to owning a stand-alone metronome.

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