Want Students to Advance More Quickly and Have a More Solid Foundation?

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

Growing up my Dad always told me that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” That truism has served me well, but there are always a few exceptions. And this is one of them. It’s been a while since I first wrote about my foray into Piano Safari (ok, so it’s been a while since I wrote about much of anything!), but I love this method even more now than when I began using it!

Piano Safari Repertoire

I believe it is accomplishing exactly what its creators (Julie Knerr and Katie Fisher) intended – a solid foundation in the fundamentals of reading music notation while simultaneously developing fluency at the piano, thus enabling students to experience more musically interesting pieces sooner and advance to more challenging repertoire more quickly. All of my students who began with Level 1 have now moved into Level 2, and are doing a fabulous job!

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Software Updates – Payment Options Clearer on Invoice Template

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


This week, we updated the HTML invoice template to make payment options clearer. This makes it even easier and self-explanatory for parents and adult students to pay you for lessons.

Other Improvements made this past week:

  • Fixed a scenario where students could cancel a lesson after the lesson was given.
  • Updated the birthday list to include only Active students.
  • Made 34 minor improvements and bugfixes reported by the Quality Assurance Team.
  • (Read more…)

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How About Building a Grand Piano?

Posted from: Piano Street's Classical Piano News

Engineering and drafting students at a Virginia private school are pushing the envelope by attempting a project that no one else is currently doing in a school setting: building a piano from scratch. The two teachers in charge of the project have both said that not even colleges are taking on such an ambitious task. With the help of a 3-D printer, students are designing and creating all the parts themselves.

See the students in action:

WSET.com – ABC13

The project is called STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The point is to teach the students to combine all the necessary skills and collaborate on the project with each other. They’re required to read blueprints and piano designs from other sources, use the printer to create scaled pieces of the piano and craft the pieces in their regular size by hand. (Read more…)

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Helping Perfectionists

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

A few months ago, my wife hired a theater instructor, who specializes in improv, to come give a workshop for some legal mediators.  One exercise he had them do has had a wonderful impact on my music students.

All students struggle, in fact all musicians do, if truth be told.  Every musician at every level is trying to raise his or her own ceiling and get just a bit better than before.  However, there are some students who regularly do better than they will admit.  Their ambition to do well is great, but sometimes, if they demand too much perfection, they taint all their progress with a bad taste.  Nothing is good enough.  They simply get in their own way.


Jane, for example, would focus on getting all the notes right but her sound was meek and tentative. (Read more…)

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Playground Sessions

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.52.45 PM

Created by world-class musicians and instructors, Playground Sessions offers a 21st century approach to learning to play the piano and has received notoriety from celebrities, music cooperations, and people around the globe.

The drive behind Playground Sessions is to learn to play the piano by playing. So, the interactive software was designed with three specific components in mind to make learning to play as fun and enjoyable as possible. In David Sides’ (Playground’s co-creator & video teacher) own words during a TV interview, he said, “the idea behind it [Playground Sessions] is to combine gaming elements, social features, and popular songs…to teach them how to play…” With these three things, as well as the interactive aspect and the ability to learn right from the comfort of your own living room, I believe this product hit right on the money with all the 21st century pianist wannabes out there.

I haven’t tried Playground Sessions myself, but I think it’s a fantasti (Read more…)

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Software Updates – Email No Longer Required When Adding Students

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


 Improvements made this past week:

  • Fixed 29 bugs and improvements reported by the Quality Assurance Team.
  • Added Barbados Dollars to currency options.
  • We removed the requirement for an email address when creating a student.

Let us know what improvements you’d like to see by giving your feedback here. And if you experience an issue while using the software, or just have general questions, please do not hesitate to contact support@musicteachershelper.com or 1-800-517-2811. (Read more…)

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Piano Recital with Juliana Steinbach – Live Stream

Posted from: Piano Street's Classical Piano News

Welcome to watch the live broadcast of the recital with pianist Juliana Steinbach at the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm starting today, May 11, at 17.00 GMT.

Program:
Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita nr 2 in C-minor
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Darius Milhaud: Saudades do Brasil
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Ciclo Brasileiro

The recital series has been launched in Stockholm this season by the organisation Piano Visions. One of the sponsors and collaborators is Piano Street, which is supporting the series in several ways.

Read more about the recital series:
http://www.pianovisions. (Read more…)

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Scales – made easier?

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


Getting Creative – My Students’ Rulers

Learning and practicing scales at the keyboard can be relatively easy and enjoyable with the aid of some simple visual aids.  Yet music students often feel daunted with the learning of scales, chords and arpeggios, thinking that they are either difficult, unnecessary, time-consuming or irrelevant.

Difficulties for students are most often seen when first trying to cross fingers over/under for piano scales and especially when playing both hands together, trying to remember which fingers to use and which white/black notes and more.

Practising scales plays an essential part in developing skills with the sense of key and pattern acquired through familiarity, speeding up the learning of new pieces, developing aural awareness and increasing familiarity with the geography of the instrument.

From my perspective and personal background, I have always felt that scales, chords and arpeggios are very important for finger dexterity and a better unde (Read more…)

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5 Tips for Teaching Rhythm Composition (ABRSM)

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


“I got rhythm…Who could ask for anything more?” – Ira Gershwin

Teaching rhythm to students is a real challenge. Some just “pick it up” naturally and others need, in the words of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, “hitting with the rhythm stick!”

So if you have a theory student preparing for an ABRSM exam (or similar), what can be done to inspire them to write a good rhythm worthy of a full 10 marks?

 

Tip 1: “Follow my leader!”

(Read more…)

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Software Updates – A Faster Music Teacher’s Helper Is Here!

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


This past week we migrated over to a new hosting provider. It required a bit of downtime for the site over the weekend, but now that the transition is through, you should be seeing a noticeable difference in loading speeds within your account and on your music studio websites.

Other changes made this week:

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A Musical Mother’s Day Card

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


Kristin Jensen’s site called Ear Training and Improv offers unique worksheets, videos and posts to spur musical imaginations. Kristin’s growing library of clever resources for music teachers is impressive. Since the special day is coming up shortly, I decided to check out her Mother’s Day Composition activity.

I’m always attempting to find a way to incorporate my favorite tool (the iPad) and prefer to remain a paper-free studio as much as possible. Therefore, I’ve created a tutorial on how your students can complete Kristin’s activity as a digitally handcrafted musical Mother’s Day card with just the iPad and the help of a terrific app, of course!

Take a Peek at a Completed Composition

Here’s a finished project. You’ll notice some slight variations in what was notated and how it was played and sung–creativity can’t be stopped! (Read more…)

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Five Buzz-Making Recital Ideas

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

By Robin Steinweg


Five Buzz-Making Recital Ideas

We all know recitals can build excitement for our studios. Could we get even more creative with them? Give folks a performance to remember. Families will talk about it to friends, friends will see clips or photos on Facebook or in emails, and word will spread about the teacher whose students know how to put on a show. Students will be excited to have been a part of it. You’ll probably add to your waiting list as a result. Here are the first five buzz-making recital ideas:

The First Five:

(Read more…)

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