First Composition

Update:  My first post about this activity came about 5 years ago but I'm getting bags ready for our first composition activity again this week. It's such an easy one for any age beginner and fun to see what students bring back when I ask them to get creative at home!...

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MTNA Sessions

It's been a little quiet around here lately, and that's because we've been busy!  We're putting final touches on our presentations for the MTNA National Conference at Disney World.  We can't believe it's almost time! We hope to see you around and the conference, and...

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Tuesday Teaching Tactic #36

This is our final Tuesday Teaching Tactic for the year! We look forward to taking time off teaching and blogging for a few weeks to celebrate with our loved ones. Today we want to share about improvisation but not just having your students improvise. Today we want to...

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Tuesday Teaching Tip #32

Another quick Tuesday Teaching Tip for this week and today I want to give those tablets or phones we carry a good workout! I'm challenging each of us to try to record a part of each student's lesson. So pull out those electronics we always carry within arms reach and...

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Telephone Composition

"Hi, Nancy! Hi, Helen! What's the story, morning glory? What's tale, nightingale? Tell me quick about Hugo and Kim!" Anyone else love this song from Bye Bye Birdie?! Today we're sharing a Telephone Composition activity and this song just keeps popping in my head! This...

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Teaching Tactic #18

There are many ways to introduce a new piece to a student.  Sometimes we start with the sound of the piece through a recording or demonstration.  Do you ever start by studying the score?  This week's Teaching Tactic is to go on a "Score Scavenger Hunt" with your...

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Tuesday Teaching Tactic #16

Wow!  We've made it to 16 weeks of Teaching Tactics!  Today's tip is to pull up a YouTube video to play for your students.  We know that most students are not watching classical pianists and orchestras perform.  It's our job to expose them to this type of music.  This...

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Discover Van Cliburn

While the Cliburn is fresh in our minds, I thought I'd share some resources to learn more about the man who inspired the competition.  Van Cliburn shocked the world by winning the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958.  In the middle...

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Ditch the Lesson Book

I'm trying something new with most of my students this summer - ditching the lesson book!  We will return to lesson books in the fall, but I decided a lot of my students could benefit from a break.  I think method books are great for elementary students, they make...

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Advice To My Younger Self

After just over twelve years of teaching piano, I still love it. When that amazing adult student performs that piece she’s wanted to play for years. When that six year old races in to tell you about how she learned the entire piece in one week, even though it was her...

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Discover – MTNA eFestival

  Have you heard about the MTNA eFestival?  This new initiative by MTNA launches May 15, thats next Monday!  The eFestival uses the idea of a traditional piano festival, where students perform for a judge and receive feedback, but makes it accessible for students...

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Book Review: Nurtured by Love, by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

After years of seeing this book on pedagogy library shelves, I finally had a parent hand me their personal copy to read. (She knew that I had young children and have been interested in starting them on violin with her favorite nearby Suzuki teacher.) Turns out, there...

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