Monday, February 17, 2014

Piano Practice and Grace

 "Why do I need to practice?"  That's what I've been hearing lately around my house a lot from my son who doesn't catch the vision of what piano practice can do for him.  I  listened to a speech this morning while exercising that totally resonated with me.  I love all of the "piano practicing" analogies that relate to improving ourselves spiritually in this life.  Following is the link to the full speech:
 "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox

If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, Mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.

 This quote reminds me of conversation I had earlier this week with my son who wanted to rush out the door to play before completing piano practice because "its too hard."  We discussed the character traits that develop through doing hard things, after a little moaning and groaning, he finally got it done.  I thought this quote by Richard G. Scott expresses what I wanted to convey to him perfectly.

"The bedrock of character is integrity. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit and be obedient to it. Strong character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished." (from Living a Life of Peace, Joy and Purpose. Ensign February 2014).

And a few more of my favorite excerpts from Brad Wilcox's speech:
“But Brother Wilcox, don’t you realize how hard it is to practice? I’m just not very good at the piano. I hit a lot of wrong notes. It takes me forever to get it right.” Now wait. Isn’t that all part of the learning process? When a young pianist hits a wrong note, we don’t say he is not worthy to keep practicing. We don’t expect him to be flawless. We just expect him to keep trying. Perfection may be his ultimate goal, but for now we can be content with progress in the right direction. Why is this perspective so easy to see in the context of learning piano but so hard to see in the context of learning heaven?

When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Piano Lab Online Activities - Level 5

Online Piano Lab Activities Level 5

Browse the links below to find online activities organized by topic for intermediate level piano students to complete during piano lab or at home. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Piano Lab Online Activities - Level 3

Following are online activities for Level 3 (Hal Leonard or Faber 2B) organized by concept.
Eighth Notes/Rests Review Visual
Ties and Slurs
            MusicTech Teacher Ties and Slurs
Landmark Notes 3Cs Bass F and Treble G 
            Thinking Theory 5 Landmark Notes
Bass Low GABCD

Interval Ear Training PU-P6

Intervals up to a 6th Visual
Treble Above the Staff
           Pedaplus Older Version Treble Advanced     
           Pedaplus Flash Notes
           Music Tech Teacher Treble Word Warrior
 Chords on Piano
           Thinking Theory Major Triads
           Music Tech Teacher A Chording to Santa
1 8va Scales on Staff and Piano
           Thinking Theory Solfa Scale
           Thinking Theory C Major Scale
           Thinking Theory G Major Scale
           Thinking Theory F Major Scale
           Thinking Theory D Major Scale 
           Thinking Theory A Major Scale
           Thinking Theory E Major Scale
Dotted Quarter Notes
           Phil Tulga Rhythm Counter
Half/Whole Steps
            MusicTech Teacher Half Step Hoedown
            MusicTech Teacher Watch Your Step
Key Signatures
           Pedaplus Flash Key Signatures
Major Scale  Pattern WWHWWWH
            Cracking the Code of Major Scales
Sharps/Flats on the Staff
            Thinking Theory Accidentals
Major/Minor Ear Training
Theory Terms
            Thinking Theory Dynamics pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff
            TonicTutor Boxing Glove

Note Stems
            Thinking Theory Note Stems
Time Signature
            Thinking Theory Time Signature 2/4, 3/4, 4/4
                ComposeCreate Web Rewards 3