Mistakes CAN be a GOOD thing!

The other day I had a student come in for her lessons a little frustrated because the piece that she was learning did not sound at all like it did when I had played it. Something was clearly wrong but she could not figure out what to do. She said to me, “I even wrote in all the notes to make sure I was doing it correctly.” It didn’t take me long to see that she had written the treble notes for the bass clef. As she was playing her bass…. I mean treble notes in the bass clef alone, […]

NCKP 2017 Photo Highlights

I thought I would post all the “behind the scenes” outside the sessions separately as I took quite a few pictures (but still missed a bunch!). I hope you enjoy! Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Lynnette and I met at the Phoenix, AZ airport and flew over to Chicago on Tuesday night.   Wednesday, July 26, 2017 One of my favorite things about attending conferences like this is meeting/seeing those who I know online! Thursday, July 27, 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017 Saturday, July 29, 2017   NCKP went by so quickly. It’s amazing how time truly does fly when you […]

How Do You Clean Your Piano Keys?

Every once in awhile this question will come up in the Facebook forums and it is a valid question. How do you clean your piano keys? Over the years I have tried several different ways to clean my piano keys. I thought it would be a fun post to share my experience with the different things I have tried. Your experience with these might vary…   Soap and water The first way I used to clean my piano keys was just good ol’ mild soap and water on a cloth. Pros: Easy and cheap Cons: Was it really removing all […]

When Lessons Get Challenging…

I have never been a big hiker but I do love the view at the end of a hike. When we were in Hawaii almost a year and a half ago, my husband wanted our family to hike Diamond Head. He warned the kids and I to be physically ready because we were doing it whether we were ready or not Despite his warnings, not a lot of preparation went into it. While I have my cardio routine that I am pretty consistent each week, I wasn’t prepared for a couple things. 1) The climb. I should have used the treadmill incline […]

From Stagnant to Engaging!

As teachers, we know all too well that no two students are exactly alike. For this reason, it is important that we change up our teaching styles, strategies and techniques to prevent our lessons from becoming stagnant. The not so great news is we are creatures of habit. It’s easy to teach the same way, from the same lesson plans and material that we are comfortable with over and over. I know I have been guilty of this many times over the years. The problem with that is our lessons get stagnant and predictable. Stagnant lessons can dis-engage students. The […]

Establish an Engaged Learning Environment

  The following article was recently published in the March issue of The Piano Bench Magazine, a magazine I highly recommend. It is an app you can find in the iTunes Store or GooglePlay Store and read from your mobile device. Engaging our students can sometimes feel overwhelming especially when a teacher might be feeling a bit burned out.  But did you know that when we truly engage our students in their learning we can also be engaged in our teaching? And visa versa. This is because students respond more positively when they are interested and engaged in what they are learning. That positive energy can return […]

3 Ways to Activate the Students Brain

  Have you ever had a student tell you, “You never taught me that” when you know that not only have you taught them what they were claiming you didn’t, but you have gone through it multiple times? There is actually a scientific reason in the brain that explain why a student has no memory of being taught a particular concept. As teachers we have the responsibility to activate our students brain. We need to make sure they are fully engaged in their learning. This isn’t always easy especially if you are experiencing a bit of burnout. (See articles regarding […]