Music Teacher’s Helper Users Helped Over 5,000 Students!

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Keys To Syncopated Strumming

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


One of the biggest challenges students face when playing guitar is learning how to strum correctly.  They usually have a favorite song they’d love to learn how to play but when they sit down to try and figure it out it just doesn’t sound right.  Every time they try it, the strum sounds all herky-jerky instead of smooth and flowing.  Sound familiar?

Before we get started, be sure to open this PDF: Keys To Strumming, which I’ll be referring to throughout this post.  If you’re wondering what chords to play during this lesson, click here to use any to use any of the common-tone chord shapes I wrote about.

THE QUARTER NOTE BOUNCE

(Read more…)

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Learn a Bit About Your Music Students & What They Said About Lessons. [Infographic]

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Recently, we asked a series of questions to over 300 students of Music Teacher’s Helper users. Today, we share some of that data, which is likely representative of most private music teachers. So please share with your peers.

99% said that their teacher runs their studio in a professional manner. We hope Music Teacher’s Helper has played a part in such an impressive number!

Keep up the great work!

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100-Day Practice Challenge

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

By Robin Steinweg


“Can I do the 100-day practice challenge?” Ava asked, her eyes wide. “If I do it, will I get my name in Piano Explorer Magazine?”

“Yes, and yes,” I said. Piano Explorer Magazine publishes names of students who complete 100 days, 200 days, and more. Read about it here: Piano Explorer

Ava and her sister Callie are two of my go-getters. (Read more…)

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How Do I Get Dinner on the Table?

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


All working parents have a challenge getting dinner on the table, but private music teachers have it especially hard when the evening hours are prime business hours. I’d like to explore a few ways to address this dilemma.

Most teachers do better if they take an actual dinner break, not just teach straight through. Less than 30 minutes is probably not sufficient. Be sure to tell your last student before your break that you are not available to stay after the normal lesson time and chat.  As we all know, the main thing that signals a student to leave is that the next student is waiting for their turn!

Many of the items in the lists below could be in every column; this format is just a way to be a little more organized about it. If you have a favorite freezer meal or crockpot recipe, please share it in the comments section below. (Read more…)

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Chamber Music for Students

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Dear teachers,


Photo by Ahjile Miller

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the change of season as we go into Fall!

Like many of you, I teach a variety of students of different ages and levels. I also provide many different performance opportunities for my students. In August, my studio participated in a charity concert called Keys for life which helped to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Last week we took part in the Halloween/Fall Recital organized by my local music teachers association. Our next recital will be the Studio Holiday Recital in December, and next year on January 27 we will be playing in a concert, sponsored by the city, to celebrate Mozart’s 259th Birthday.

(Read more…)

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Live Streamed Piano Recitals at The Academy of Arts in Stockholm

Posted from: Piano Street's Classical Piano News

A new piano recital series has been launched in Stockholm this fall. The first recital, with pianist Peter Jablonski took place on September 15 and today, October 20 at 17.00 GMT it’s time for pianist Murray McLachlan to enter the stage.

The series is run by the organisation Piano Visions. One of the sponsors and collaborators is Piano Street, which will support the series in many interesting and exciting ways, for example by arranging an online piano composition competition from which the winning pieces will be performed in the series.

Piano Street is, in collaboration with Art of Sound in Stockholm, developing and supplying the artistic and technical platform for live streaming the recitals on the Internet. The first four recitals we be test streamed in order to work out the concept and to receive feedback.
We welcome you to watch the test broadcast of today’s recital with British pianist Murray McLachlan. (Read more…)

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Noriko Ogawa asks Beethoven to Leave her Alone

Posted from: Piano Street's Classical Piano News

Noriko Ogawa seems to be comfortable in the same pea pod as Claude Debussy; she displays a similar maverick streak to the French composer. They both lament the “rules” in roughly the same way. Debussy didn’t like the composition rules of his teachers at the Paris Conservatory, while Ogawa keeps away from what she sees as the restrictive, emotional tradition of European Romanticism.      

In this video Nogawa makes her point by discussing the different aspects of Debussy’s Prelude No. 12, Book 2, Feux D’Artifice (Fireworks). As she explains the sonic meaning behind separate motives and sound clusters that simulate everything from a lit fuse to “La Marseillaise” sounding faintly in the distance, she does reinforce the lack of emotional spirit in Debussy’s music in his quest to depict his subjects as accurately as possible.

Deconstructed: Noriko Ogawa – Debussy’s Feux D’Artifice (Fireworks)’
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Can YouTube really replace a teacher?

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

I heard from the music school that a new student had signed up, so as usual, I called him to find out what level he was at, what he wanted, what his email was so I could send him a link to register with Music Teachers Helper.

It became clear soon into my phone call that this new student was hesitating  at the music school’s requirement that he sign up for 4 lessons to get started.

“I think I only want one or two to get started,” he said.

I told him that it was a good idea to give it a few lessons to get started and see how it worked, though of course if it didn’t seem a good fit, it was fine to drop out.

“I think really I only want one lesson,” he said.

(Read more…)

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Important October 2014 Updates

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog


Below are some recent changes and other announcements we think you should know about.

New Features

Annual Pricing: pay once a year and save some cash – over the years, several Music Teacher’s Helper customers have asked for annual pricing. They want the convenience of not being billed every month. Today, we are excited to announce that annual pricing is available to all new and current users. You now have the option of monthly or annual billing.

Annual pricing is over 16% less than monthly. Or the equivalent of two months free per year. (Read more…)

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Integrated Learning

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

One of the things that I love about teaching piano is the challenge of figuring out how to integrate every part of the student’s learning so that they understand concepts in a relevant way. One of the ways this can be done very effectively is through structured improvisation assignments.

If you’ve been a reader on Music Matters Blog for any length of time you know that I’m a huge fan of Pattern Play as the most effective approach I’ve found to truly teaching improvisation at the piano. But now that most of my students (and I!) have become more comfortable improvising, we create a variety of assignments from week to week that utilize improvising as a way to help students cement various musical concepts.

Right now Mercy is learning chord inversions as part of her Theory and Technique section in our C2 practice incentive theme, so this was the short piece she improv-ed using a c-minor chord and inversions:

It’s amazing how much more exciting and relevant the (Read more…)

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Getting Innovative with MTH, Part 3

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

In a series of blogs called ‘Getting Innovative with MTH’, I am sharing some of my favourite workarounds.  My previous two posts were: creating a To Do List and keeping track of my Inventory.  These workarounds help me be even more efficient within Music Teacher’s Helper with a ‘One Stop’ approach for all my studio needs.


Monthly Calendar View: Week 3

Innovative Calendar of Events (combining all events in your life)

I really do love the flexibility of MTH and the powerful features within the Calendar for scheduling all my students.

I have now also created a way which works well for me to combine most, if not all, of the events in my life! Within the MTH Calendar for my student schedule, I am able to remember much more as I combine several calendar schedules together:

(1) for my personal appointments,

(Read more…)

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