Here are some videos
that will hopefully help my students understand some of the philosophies of piano I endorse.
One exercise that can help your child become a better
listener is to take them outside on a pretty day and have them sit down and
close their eyes and just listen to all the sounds around them and have them
tell you what they hear.
I would like for all of my students to practice
the piano for an hour every day. But being the mother of four boys, I fully
understand that this is not always possible. That is why I would ask that
my students practice at least 30 minutes per day for at least 5 days per
practice" , a term I learned from this book,
The Talent Code, which I highly recommend
that everyone read, will help your child gain faster results in less time.
This consists of practicing really slowly and in chunks. It really
Here's what one of my students' parents recently
wrote to me in an email and agreed for me to share with all of you:
Got it. He played Eleanor after school for the
first time. After less than 5 minutes, it sounded like he was playing it
for a month. I got him to play the 2 finger chords reeeealy slow about 5-6
times. Went back to tempo and nailed it. This is so much fun. We canít
thank you enough.
Tell your kids to think of learning a piece
as they would think of mastering a video game. Divide the piece into
different levels. Don't move on to the next level until you've mastered
the previous level. Label different stumbling points throughout the
piece as you would identify challenging parts of a video game that you seek
to master. Turn learning a piece into something fun! And most
of all remember that repetition is the name of the game, repetition is the
name of the game, get it? You just keep trying to master a section
of the music just as you keep trying to master each level of a game.
Eventually, with a lot of practice, you get it!
To the parents of my
students, thank you for the confidence you have in me. I hope I will be able
to give your child a foundation in piano that will carry them throughout
their life and inspire them to continue growing and sharing their talent
in music. If for any reason you ever have a concern or are not
satisfied with the progress your child is making, please contact me
and we can discuss this and hopefully come up with a resolution.
The following are excerpts from previous e-mails
I have sent out to the parents of my students that you may find
Please also remind them to curve their fingers
when playing. The back should be straight, wrists need to be flexible,
the shoulders relaxed and the arms should feel heavy. Here's a short
video that explains proper hand position:
Here is a quote from pianofundamentals.com that
I found useful: "Stuttering is caused by stop-and-go practice in which a
student stops and replays a section every time there is a mistake. If you
make a mistake, always play through it; don't stop to correct it. Simply
make a mental note of where the mistake was and play that section again later
to see if the mistake repeats. If it does, just fish out a small segment
containing that mistake and work on it. Once you cultivate the habit of playing
through mistakes you can graduate to the next level in which you anticipate
mistakes (feel their approach before they occur) and take evasive action,
such as slowing down, simplifying the section, or just maintaining the rhythm.
Most audiences don't mind, and often don't even hear, mistakes unless the
rhythm is broken.
The worst thing about bad habits is that they take
so long to eliminate, especially if they are HT habits. Therefore nothing
accelerates your learning rate like knowing all the bad habits and preventing
them before they become ingrained. For example, the time to prevent stuttering
is when a student first begins piano lessons. If playing through mistakes
is taught at this stage, it becomes second nature and is very easy. To teach
a stutterer to play through mistakes is a very difficult task."
It would be helpful if my students had a metronome
at home to practice with. Of course, it's not mandatory, just a suggestion.
If you don't already have one, you can pick one up at a local music store.
Also, here are two websites that sell them.
This will go a long way in helping your children
learn to keep a steady beat. It's not necessary to use when practicing every
piece. A small portion of their practice time devoted to using the metronome
would benefit them tremendously!
Found these games today! Have them try them if
I especially like the Note Name Game and Compose
Your Own Music.
Here is a website I found that has "some" good
advice when it comes to encouraging your child to practice the piano. As
with everything I send your way, take whatever you like from the information.
I don't necessarily endorse all of it. These are just some
children it's just like reading a book. The author would like for you to
read their book out loud or hear it in your head a certain way. That is why
they put adverbs, commas, exclamation points, question marks, etc. in their
writing. If you read a book or story without those crucial elements, it just
wouldn't sound the way the author intended. It's the same with music. Rhythm
is as crucial to the way a piece sounds as the notes, rests, accents, dynamics,
I hope this will help you help your child practice.
Please if you have any concerns at any time, please do not hesitate to come
by, call or send me an e-mail. Thanks for sharing your kids with me! It has
been truly rewarding teaching them each week!
I love teaching your kids and hope they are learning
as well as having fun! Keep me posted on your thoughts, questions and