Practice Tips from The Musician’s Way

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

Gerald Klickstein’s newsletter is always a treasure trove of helpful links and resources. In his Summer 2015 issue he links to a couple of posts on his blog that I thought were particularly insightful, especially as I prepare for another year of teaching and consider what areas to emphasize with my students.

5 Tips for Successful Practice gives some great practical suggestions that teachers and students alike can implement to maximize their time at the piano! For some reason, I also had never come across his page of Downloads with a variety of helpful documents you can download and utilize for free. I’m especially drawing inspiration from his Practice Sheet with a specific breakdown of different kinds of assignments and succinct practice objectives that correlate with each one.

If you’re not already, I highly recommend subscribing to the fabulous quarterly newsletter from The Musician’s Way!

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Software Updates – Small Updates This Week

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

music teaching apps

Not many updates to announce this week. If you haven’t already, try out our iPhone or Android mobile apps.

Updates:

  • Fixed a bug that affected the updating of events via drag and drop on the calendar.
  • Corrected 30 issues reported by the Quality & Assurance Team.

Let us know if you have any questions about using Music Teacher’s Helper by contacting support@musicteachershelper.com. (Read more…)

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Prepare for Fall

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

By Robin Steinweg

How do you prepare for fall? A vacation from lessons or a lighter teaching load can offer opportunities to create a master list.

Prepare for Fall

Prepare for Fall

Here are some of my to-dos:

  • Determine available teaching times
    • Will I offer 30, 45 or 60-minute lessons?
    • How many weeks will I teach?
    • (Read more…)

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SmartMusic Coming To The ChromeBook

Posted from: Music Education Magic

In early July MakeMusic made a big announcement, that they were buying a company from France called Weezic.  On the surface that may not seem like a big deal until you realize WHY they bought them.  Until that point Weezic had been a competitor to SmartMusic, providing a different way for people to do automatic assessment of a musical performance just like SmartMusic does.  The big difference though was that Weezic was truly cross platform compatible, meaning that it could run on just about anything with a web browser.  Now do you get the picture?  If you work in a school district that has gone totally one-to-one Chromebook then rejoice!  SmartMusic is coming to the Chromebook!

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Motivation Podcasts

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

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Student motivation is an ongoing discussion and concern for every music teacher. We debate internal versus external motivation, parent involvement, the role of talent, and the million ways to structure home practice. Students Luke Jones and Matt McKeever at the University of Missouri at St. Louis are taking a summer graduate music education class with Jennifer Mishra and they have created a series of podcast interviews with musicians around the country addressing the issue of student motivation. You can check out their project here: http://sutbpodcats.podomatic.com/

My interview encouraged me to once again write down a few of my thoughts about motivation. (Read more…)

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AudioScore Ultimate 8 Review

Posted from: Music Education Magic

Neuratron’s AudioScore Ultimate 8 seeks to automate a task that few musicians enjoy doing, that of transcribing audio performances of music into written music notation.  The technology has come a very long way since its early iterations but is it solid enough to bother with?  Read this review to find out!

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A Beginner’s Introduction to New Orleans Jazz – A Guest Post by Lauren Lewandowski

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

Jazz, a style popularized in New Orleans, is taught by New Orleans piano teachers to help students comfortability with improv, which helps learning all styles of music.

New Orleans music derives its unique style from the syncopation of dixieland, blues, folk ragtime, zydeco, and improvisation to create jazz music. Beginning in the 1910’s in New Orleans, jazz combined brass band music, piano, double bass, drums and other instruments to create the full sound that jazz brings. Because of the improvisational nature of jazz, learning the methods would greatly help people of all ages while learning any style of music, from classical to contemporary.

Improvisation is taught by many piano teachers, all to help students acclimate to changes in rhythm, tempo and key. It allows the mind to create on the spot tangential sequences, allowing students to notice the minute differences in the changes that morph into new sounds. This process is essential to teach harmonic progression, an important eleme (Read more…)

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How To Be More Than Just a Music Instructor

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

It is easy to fall into the trap of being simply a music instructor. You have a series of lessons in mind, and you introduce new concepts each week, even if the student has not mastered the previous concept. After all, you are getting paid to teach: if your student is not learning something new in the lesson, they may not be getting their money’s worth, or so it would seem. If you follow this plan, however, you may find that your students cannot keep up with the new material, perhaps becoming discouraged, and they may even eventually quit.

Being a good music teacher actually has two aspects, and only one of them is instructing. The second aspect is coaching your students. These two sides of teaching work hand-in-hand in your lessons. Nevertheless, you will want to distinguish between instruction and coaching, as well as understand how they work together.

(Read more…)

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Software Updates – Android Update Released!

Posted from: Music Teacher's Helper Blog

We are excited to share the news that the latest Android app update has just been released. The more notable new features include the ability to create & preview invoices, manage payments, invoices, & fees, issue make-ups & credits, and automatically track mileage using GPS. Here are additional updates made:

  • Home screen widget – view today’s event list or quickly add a new event.
  • Swipe-to-delete data in lists.
  • Import student or adult contact information from default Android phone book.
  • (Read more…)

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Special Introductory Offer on Carnival of the Animals Music Camp!

Posted from: Music Matters Blog

Carnival of the Animals Cover

For all of you who have been anxiously awaiting (probably me most of all!), I’m excited to announce that the Carnival of the Animals Classical Christian Music Camp curriculum package is finally complete and ready for delivery! This extensive curriculum has been in the works for many years at a conceptual level, so it’s been thrilling to watch it fully come together this week as we’ve given it a trial run in the studio. And from now through the end of July, you can get your downloadable package for only $20 (that’s $10 off the regular price of $30)!

I’m amazed at how much the students grasped as we incorporated history, geography, rhythm, technique, music vocabulary, composition, science, art, and performance into our camp activities each day. It will also be exciting to see how the seeds sown this week continue to bear fruit in the years to come as the students draw on the knowledge and understanding they’ve gained through this experience.

The curri (Read more…)

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Highlights from Day 5 of Carnival of the Animals Music Camp

Posted from: Music Matters Blog


Day 5 of our Carnival of the Animals music camp has arrived! We played the ever-popular Guess-It! game as a way of reviewing all that we’ve learned so far this week.

The Science of Sound today explores two remarkable instruments – the piano and the glass armonica.


Students use their music vocabulary knowledge to attempt to translate the meaning of Cristofori’s original name for his musical instrument invention: the gravicembalo col piano e forte.

Next everyone gets to take a turn trying to produce a tone similar to one on a glass armonica by rubbing their finger around the rim of a wine glass containing water.

Wrapping up a fun week for a crazy bunch!

Reviewing proper performance procedures before the parents arrive. These admittedly cheesy performance signs still seem to do the trick of helping students visualize and remember each aspect of their performance! (Read more…)

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Highlights from Day 4 of Carnival of the Animals Music Camp

Posted from: Music Matters Blog


A fun review game of hangman to start off Day 4 of our Carnival of the Animals music camp!

Learning all about the Science of Sound and how the ear works.

For the math whizzes of the bunch – compute these 32nd notes!

Practicing technique concepts on each other!

Interval Intuition – Can they feel the right interval in their fingers even when they’re not looking?

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