Self-help Pedagogy: Part 2

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Time management is an essential component of managing a studio. In addition to managing and planning the details on the business end, many studio owners take an active role in the lesson and class planning. In this month’s blog, I will summarize points from Marienne Uszler’s book, Time Flies…How to Make the Best Use of… Read more »

Self-help Pedagogy: Part 1

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Summer is such a great time to rest and read. For the next three months I will devote my blog to reviewing three small wonderful “self-help pedagogy” books written by Marienne Uszler that have really influenced my teaching. There are three books in the series: Play it again, Sam…What, Why, and When to Repeat, Time… Read more »

Performance Anxiety in Lessons

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When most people think of performance anxiety, they may imagine someone about to go on stage to perform in a recital, or play, or to speak in front of an audience. They have spent hours, weeks, and most likely months getting ready to show the world what they have to offer with all their hard… Read more »

Creating a World of Possibility

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In March, I traveled to New York City for the Music Teachers National Conference. Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, gave the keynote address on themes from the book that he and his wife wrote entitled, “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life.” A colleague and I arrived early for the… Read more »

Decreasing Student Turnover

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One of my goals as a piano teacher–and probably one of the goals of many teachers and studio owners out there–is to avoid student turnover.  I understand that many students who quit piano at a young age will go on to have regrets as adults for not sticking with music lessons longer, which I find… Read more »

Unwinding After a Big Event

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February was a bit of a stressful month around my studio. Many of my students were preparing to participate in our local National Federation of Music Clubs’ Junior Festival. And as nervous as they were about playing, I think I was even more nervous for them. Needless to say, we’re all a bit more relaxed… Read more »

The Music Lesson

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How do you teach music? When do you start teaching musicality? What is musicality? What is music? In his book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, Victor Wooten, five-time Grammy Award winner bass guitarist, gives many avenues for discovery into these questions. I found it to be a very provocative book… Read more »

Ensemble playing- music as language

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What ensemble experiences do your students participate in? Do you see a difference between those students who are engaged in music with their peers and those who are solitary? Do you require ensemble participation?

The Importance of Performances

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Two common struggles of teachers/studio owners are motivating students and keeping students long-term.   These are, of course, related to each other.  A student who isn’t motivated to practice his instrument probably isn’t enjoying the experience and isn’t progressing, and it’s likely that it won’t be long before his family feels the investment is a waste of money and… Read more »

TAP to Carnegie Hall

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Attention: Music Teachers! Do you know how your students can get to Carnegie Hall? Of course they have to “practice, practice, practice,” but you can increase their chances by recommending that they participate in The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (TAP for short). WHAT is it? TAP provides a recognized national standard of musical… Read more »