Category Archives: Teaching Business

Sorting Out the Piano Classics

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I’m proud to announce I am an affiliate for the Piano Teachers Academy. If you have ever wished you could attend Elizabeth Gutierrez’s workshops but lived too far away, now is your chance to attend online in the comfort of your home. I would like to invite you to attend her online course: “Sorting Out the Piano Classics.”

Elizabeth is my friend, but more than that, she has been a mentor to me as a piano teacher for years. She is the piano teacher’s piano teacher. Not only has she taught piano pedagogy at the college level and given many workshops, she also teaches private piano students. Elizabeth knows how to explain things and she knows what works. She has a knack for giving practical advice that you can easily carry over to your lessons.

This workshop is for piano teachers who want a guide through teaching the classics. So many times I would like to give a classical piece to students but I’m not sure if they are ready for it. There are books but they only give a list, not a discussion on how to teach the music. There is great music out there that students throughout the ages have enjoyed and we owe it to our students to expose this music to them. I polled my students and over half of them said they wanted to play classical music. Students often go through stages with what they like, and when the time is right, we need to be there for them.

I was fortunate that my piano teacher introduced me to classical music early. I fell in love with it. My teacher even called up my mother to tell her I was “special” because I appreciated good music. Well, I don’t think I was special. I enjoyed all kinds of music, and good music is good music. One minute I was playing Bach and the next I was playing pop music with lead sheets. But there was something special about the sound of the classics and how the notes fit under the hands that I enjoyed. But if my teacher had not introduced me to classical music at an early age, I don’t know if I would have majored in music.

Elizabeth’s course has over seven hours of video that will guide you through teaching classics at all levels. There are demonstrations on how to teach the most common classical pieces as well as some lesser known music. She will give you tips that you can use right away with your students. The course includes handouts to match pieces with the method books students are in, as well as other helpful handouts.

When I signed up for the course, Elizabeth told me teachers will have lifetime access to the videos and the hand outs. That means I can go back and watch it again if I need a review or lose a handout.

Right now the course is offered at the introductory price of $120.00 until October 1, so don’t wait to check it out!

Here is how to view a free sample class.

  • Click my link here.
  • When that opens, click on the image.
  • Scroll down to “Class Curriculum.” Click the small down arrow under the 3 modules (before the FAQ).
  • This will open the entire curriculum. Scroll down to “The Black Hole: What to do at the Intermediate Level.
  • The third chapter is free. Click the “Preview” button.

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Filed under Music Reviews, Teaching Business

Editable 2016-17 Calendar

Calendar 2016-17

Editable 2016-17 Calendar

Calendar 2016-17  (This is the non-editable version)

Reminder Postcards 2016  (This is the smallest size allowed by the USPS and is not editable.)

If you want happy parents in your piano studio, keep it well-organized with a good calendar so that parents and students know well in advance what is coming up! I put it on the front of their binder and also email it to parents.

The calendar is designed for you to type your studio events in the center. I suggest you put dates for:

  • Festivals, including sign-up deadlines
  • Recitals
  • Holiday breaks
  • Days your studio will be closed
  • Group lesson dates
  • Deadlines to memorize music for events

It’s Editable!

I have some good news for those of you who like editable files! For the first time ever, this calendar is editable in Word as a .docx file. You can even edit the “Calendar of Events” title. Open the file in Word or another word processing program and place your cursor in the table and type your information. Use Times New Roman and a 10 pt font size to match the style of the calendar. The borders of the table are there as a guide and will not show when it is printed. You will have to download this file and open it in Word and not open it in your Chrome.

If you don’t use the editable Word docx file, here are some suggestions on how to personalize and print your calendar.  You will be printing in the center of the page. Since every printer is different, figure out how to insert the page back into your printer in order to print in the blank space in the center.

I advise you to set your margins to:

  • Left – 2.3
  • Right – 2.3
  • Top – 1. 5
  • Bottom – .5

If you have trouble downloading the PDF files, please check my FAQ because everything I know to help you is listed there!

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Piano Camp Course by Jennifer Foxx

 

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This cute picture is a piano camp put on by Jennifer Foxx.

Jennifer Foxx and I have known each other for years, first on message boards (several in fact) a long time before Facebook, and then finally in person when we met at a MTNA convention. Jennifer is an expert in group piano games and activities for piano camps. She has been conducting them for many years and she knows the answer to everything, camp wise. She’s realistic, and she know what does and does not work. You might know Jennifer for her excellent tech reviews and suggestions on her blog.

She is now offering her expertise in the form of a video course for piano teachers. Maybe you’ve considered having a camp but you just don’t know how to get started. Or you like the idea, but don’t know where you can go to find games and activities.  This course will teach you everything you need to know and give you the confidence to try a music camp yourself!

I want to share her website with you where you can get all the information you need to sign up for her camp. And if you have questions, just ask her! She is always quick to respond!

http://music-educator-resources.teachable.com

 

[Disclosure: These opinions are my own and I received no compensation.]

 

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Filed under Group lesson ideas, Teaching Business

So You Want to Play the Piano? by Melanie Spanswick

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Melanie Spanswick is an English concert pianist, presenter, adjudicator, author, composer, and music educator. That is the short list! She has also written many articles for music publications and has given presentations and lectures on learning how to play piano.

To this list of outstanding achievements, she has written a book , So You Want To Play the Piano?.

This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in piano lessons for themselves or a family member. It is extremely comprehensive and includes everything you could possibly want to know about piano lessons. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book quite like this, and anyone considering piano lessons should use this book as a resource.

An important chapter is how to find the appropriate piano teacher. She explains the confusing diplomas and degrees that teachers may obtain, as well as the conservatory system, such as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and others.

The next chapter discusses popular method books and basic music theory. Melanie uses both the UK and North American music vocabularies. She reviews method books in detail and also discusses other music education methods such as Kodály, Orff, and Suzuki.

The book continues with detailed chapters on piano basics, technique, exams, festivals, and competitions. There is an entire chapter on technique with good photographs to explain the concepts.

One of the best things about this book is the extensive lists Melanie includes. There are lists of resources for everything she writes about including websites, methods, conservatories, examining boards in 8 countries, composers, publications, and more. It is a treasure trove of resources!

So You Want to Play Piano? is aimed for potential students, but it is a great reference book for beginning teachers who are starting a studio.  As an experienced teacher,  I found it contains helpful information including what to discuss at student interviews.

This book is currently published by Alfred UK and will soon be published in the U.S. by Alfred Publishing. You can read more about Melanie at www.melaniespanswick.com

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