End of the Year Reflection and Celebration

It’s the end of the school year! A perfect time for students to reflect back on the year. What were some of their favorite memories? What did they learn? What would they like to improve on? What are they looking forward to on summer break? Enjoy this freebie. It includes an editable version if you would like to change some of the questions. This year is recital week in my studio. I am going to have students fill out some compliment cards while they listen to each other play at rehearsals. I thought it would be a nice little boost before […]

Burnout Is Real

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is my most stressful time of year. It’s also the time of year that I tend to burn out and when I notice my students burning out. This is the time for re-registration, summer camp registrations, summer scheduling, following up with the waiting list, figuring out who I can add to the schedule, planning the spring recital, getting students ready for spring recital, prep the summer camps, not to mention my other creative and educational projects. Oh, the list can go on and on… I know you can relate how crazy it […]

2018 MTNA Pics and Disney Fun

I thought I would share some of my favorite parts of MTNA beyond the classes. Visiting the exhibits and spending time with other teachers!         After the conference, my husband met me Wednesday morning to stay a few more days at Disney for some fun! We were able to visit all 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios). Plus we went to Universal for a day to check out the newest Harry Potter ride. After we spent some time at the Animal Kingdom, we checked into the Carribean Resort since Coronado wouldn’t let us stay […]

2018 MTNA Tuesday and Wednesday

CAROL MATZ- INTERACTIVE PIANO SHOWCASE Carol gave a great showcase of her method, Interactive Piano. She recently released level 3. What makes level 3 unique is it includes a Pro Piano Skills section in the PDF downloads where students are learning how to play from lead sheets, chord charts, improvisation, notation, and composition. So awesome!!! You can read my review of Carol’s method here. I will be reviewing level 3 soon, but in the meantime, you can check it out here. THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT OF WALT DISNEY AND THE INDEPENDENT TEACHER  Karen Thickstun   There are a lot of good lessons […]

2018 MTNA Monday

The morning presentations on Monday were filled with 20 min. “fast track” presentations and I have to say that these were among my favorite presentations at MTNA! So much so that I had really wished the presenters had the full hour. There was no wasting time for sure. GET PSYCHED TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS  Charles Blanchard   I met Charles in the exhibit hall where he was exhibiting his book, Postive Piano: History’s Greatest Pianists On How to Succeed Wildly in Life.   (affiliate link) After I talked to him about his book (of which I ended up purchasing), I was intrigued and looked […]

2018 MTNA Sunday

BRINGING THE WISDOM OF MR. MIYAGI William Westney One of my favorite movies from the 80’s was Karate Kid. Yes, I confess I had a little crush on “Daniel.” I was really looking forward to this presentation and anxious to see where it would go. If you are not familiar with the movie, it’s definitely worth watching. William Westney showed clips of the movie to give context to what wisdom we can learn from Daniel’s teacher, Mr. Miyagi. In one of the first scenes between Mr. Miyagi and “Daniel, son” as he liked to call him, Daniel is curious to […]

2018 MTNA Pedagogy Saturday Highlights (Part 2)

TEACHING ADULTS Part 1- Nan Baker Richardson Part 2- Amanda “Mandy” Schlegel Part 1- Reading on the grand staff Reading on the grand staff can be confusing to an adult learner. Tells adults, “All of you are new to this. You are proficient at what you do and what you are good at because that is your profession. This is my profession, I don’t expect you to fully grasp, understand everything and that’s okay….” (So true!) I loved Nan’s brilliant analogy’s to help understand reading on the grand staff. She likened the grand staff to telling time. Time is am or […]

2018 MTNA Pedagogy Saturday Highlights (Part 1)

Pedagogy Saturday is something I look forward to at MTNA. If you aren’t familiar with pedagogy Saturday, it is an extra option you can register for.  Classes are divided into what they call a track. This year the following tracks were offered: Musician Wellness– this year focusing on the mind and body. Recreational Music Making– this year featured practical applications and fun creative tips to make teaching more effective and fulfilling. RMM is mostly for group teaching but many of the ideas can be adapted to fit your studio. Teaching Artistry and Technique– this year focusing on sound as it […]

Combining Vocal Exploration with Story Telling and Composition

I’m collaborating with my music teacher blog friends at MusicEd Blogs on Facebook to discuss all the different ways we teach melody! Today I wanted to share an easy idea that combines melody composition with story-telling. Many of you are probably familiar with vocal explorations. I love the idea of vocal explorations and how simple yet effective they are. If you aren’t familiar with vocal explorations, here is an example of one you might see… Vocal explorations are typically used for vocal warmups. Students follow a lined path singing different pitches. The visual representation of those pitches is what inspired me […]

A Simple Step-by-Step Start to Major Scales – All Without a Book

Elizabeth Gutierrez from Piano Teacher Academy has launched a new course, A Simple Step-by-Step Start to Major Scales – All Without a Book.  If you enrolled in the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers online course bundle from last summer you already have this course, so no need to enroll. If you didn’t, it is now available as a stand-alone course! COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why wait until students can read a scale book and understand key signatures before starting scales? You can start students easily with scales once they know steps and skips at the keyboard. Elizabeth shares a tried-and-true method […]