Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Part 3 Chord Progressions and Transposition

Practical Chord Progressions
Post 3
Practical Chord Progressions and Transposition
When introducing the Primary Chords, I pull out a few primer level books with traditional songs and ask my student to play accompanying chords while I play the melody and we both sing the song.  They can hear the application of learning chords right away and it is a lot more fun for them to play a duet than simply play chord progressions in different keys.   They can practice at home by singing the melody as they add chords to harmonize.  I have written in I, IV or V Chord symbols underneath the staff for the student.  Making Music Fun has a wealth of free printable sheet music ideals for this purpose. Another resource that I have

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Part 2 Teaching Keyboard Skills through Song

Keyboard Skills Songs
Post 2:
 Some students tend to confuse the names of keyboard skills (scale, arpeggio, chord progression, etc.), but ever since I read a helpful blog post a few years ago,

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Beginning Concepts (Part 1 in a Series of Posts)

 Singing is such a powerful tool to accelerate learning and reinforce musical concepts in piano lessons, and yet I don't recall any of my teachers singing at piano lessons, and I'm pretty sure they never asked me to do it.  Honestly, I used to be a little hesitant to do it myself with my students, because although I can sing on pitch and have sung in multiple choirs, I'd rather be the one hiding behind the keys than belting out a vocal solo.  But the past few years, I've stretched outside my comfort zone and asked my students to do a little stretching as well.  This series of posts will  highlight different resources and methods of using singing to accelerate learning during piano lessons.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Piano Tracking Power

I love checklists.  I also like the positive power of a little competition.  So recently I came up with a little Piano Point Competition to help my students intensify their focus during home practice to prepare for an upcoming festival and recital. I wanted something...
  • Motivating
  • Competitive
  • Practical
  • Specific
  • Adaptable
I modeled my incentive after a 22 day wellness challenge that I recently completed that was super motivating for me to jumpstart my efforts to live a more healthy well-balanced life.   I was amazed at how motivating the simple tool of daily tracking was for me to boost my discipline.  And I have to admit that a little competition really works wonders for me!  As the results are coming in, I'm seeing that it is a great motivator for some of my students as well.  Following is a snapshot of the tracking sheet.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

22 Days of Wellness

This wellness competition was the inspiration for my recent studio practice competition which you can read more about here.

22 Days of Wellness

I am not a fitness buff.  In fact I really despise exercise and am only consistent because I have a great friend who comes to my house 5 days a week who I love to socialize with and get some early morning inspiring conversation as we do our "Walk away the pounds" video.
The past few weeks I've joined with some other ladies in my neighborhood to do a 3 phase wellness challenge and  have loved the feeling of conquering myself and also focussing on spiritual elements.  Everyday I track my points for drinking water, eating healthy meals, at least 2 servings of fruits and 3 veggies a day, limiting to 2 healthy snacks, 30 min exercise, 5 min abs, spiritual enrichment, 10000 steps, no pop.  One of my favorite parts is focusing on one  of 22  things happy people do each day (see below).  I'm less tempted to eat sweets when I know I have to lose points, although going without treats for 22 days was a serious challenge for me. I "celebrated" last night on my free day by making some mint chocolate hot fudge pudding dessert with vanilla ice cream. I've always been a listmaker, goalsetter, tracker personality so this worked perfectly for me.  I lost 7 lbs in 22 days ( of course 5 of that was the results of all the extra sweets I totally indulged in over the holidays).  I took first place!  Of course, next round I don't expect things to happen so quickly, but I love feeling like I'm accomplishing something each day and it has totally helped me feel more optimistic.  I've pasted the 22 Day Focus items below.

22 Things Happy People Do Differently
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because...