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…)
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:
Did you know that Music Teacher’s Helper has several team members whose job is to use the software and find issues with the current and future updates? We call them our Quality & Assurance Team and we love having them around. For instance, 27 minor bugs and improvements were made to the software this past week that they found.
They’ll keep working hard to improve Music Teacher’s Helper and make sure future versions of it are just as great. If you every experience an issue using the software, please let us know by emailing email@example.com and we’ll make it a priority to fix.
More than 3 million people visit Warsaw each year. Of those, about 200,000 visit the museum dedicated to Poland’s national music hero: Frédéric Chopin.
Officials from the Warsaw Tourist Office have set in motion a plan to bolster both existing and future tourism numbers. Along with tour businesses and vacation planners, their goal is to market Chopin himself as a brand and highlight the composer’s extreme Polish patriotism. They’ve all been working behind the scenes for more than five years, and their efforts have borne fruit. In fact, more people came to see Chopin exhibits in Poland’s capital than came to see football matches during the 2012 European Championship.
Be a Chopin Tourist – take the 3 minute tour in the new museum! (Read more…)
Last month I attended the Music Teachers National Association National Conferences in Las Vegas. I had the honor and pleasure of being a conference presenter this year, and would like to share my presentation with MTH blog readers.
My presentation was titled “Combining Method Books – Accelerated Approach to Teaching Beginning and Intermediate Piano Students.”
To demonstrate my approach, I brought six talented students from my studio, and discussed various method books and supplementary materials I have used during their course of study. All of those six sudents started piano lessons with me from scratch, without any prior knowledge. Each student then performed a piece by a contemporary composer, which is a main focus in my studio.
Have you ever had a student come into their lesson thrilled to show you the new song that their friend just taught them? Only to discover that it’s at the top of every piano teacher’s list of Most Disliked Songs? You know which one I’m talking about, don’t you? Yup. Heart and Soul. But, as much as you might want to plug your ears and scream the next time you hear it, the reality is that students love playing it! Plus, it can serve as the perfect tool for learning to improvise freely using the chord progression in it. In this video Claire demonstrates the Heart and Soul remix she came up with just for fun:
Thank you for using Music Teacher’s Helper. This week’s implemented updates can be found on the list below. Please contact one of our support reps if you are experiencing an issue and we’ll get on it right away. If you have an idea for a new feature, please submit it here. Many of the current features were ideas submitted by members!
This week’s feature updates & fixes:
Multiple files can be selected in file area with control-click on Windows or command-click on Mac.
Files can be deleted by dragging them to the trash can icon. (Read more…)
“I didn’t practice as much as I’d like” is a pretty common refrain at music lessons. But “I didn’t touch it since last time” is not so easy to confess to.
There are many reasons why a student didn’t practice. I think it’s important not to lump them all together, but to take care to understand what happened in each individual case, in order to have an effective response.
Perhaps the foremost excuse for not practicing is that they didn’t have time. On the one hand this seems almost impossible, since it’s not so hard, and can be beneficial, to practice even a few minutes here and there, just to keep the muscles engaged, and the head in the game. Sometimes I joke that a student should pretend they have to go to the bathroom an extra time, and practice for 5 minutes instead. But often anxiety plays a role — a single mother may be at the end of her rope; a student may be under pressure from school; a manager could fe (Read more…)