Following the 2017 NCKP Conference in Chicago, my travel buddy, Joy Morin and I had a few days to explore Chicago. It was great having a little brain break anyway!
I’m going to first share with you a little of our 3-day P.T. vacay followed by some of the great things I attended at the GIML (Gordon Institute for Music Learning) Conference. If you’re not familiar, the conference focuses on teaching inspired by Music Learning Theory (MLT).
Today I just felt like sharing a random reflection on a couple of teaching moments this week.
A student in Piano Safari Level 3 was playing the three forms of the D minor scale. She played beautifully, hands separately at a nice pace of mm.=200 (quarter note). Before we moved on to the next exercise, I wanted to make sure she understood some of the why’s and what’s.
Why is it called the natural minor? (Because it’s in it’s most natural “raw” state – using the same pitches as its related major). Continue reading
What’s the one digital item you find trickiest to keep organized?
For me, it’s photos.
A lot of readers have asked about this and when a friend asked the same question just the other day, that was my clue it was time to share.
I have a confession though – I wouldn’t call my way anything special, it’s just what I do for now. I love seeing ideas of how others organize, even if I don’t end up doing it that way, so hopefully, you can find some inspiration to clean up your photo files and share any great tips you have with me! Continue reading
In college, I recall one of my Bible class professors encouraging us to always read the forward/preface/opening words to any book before diving in. Up until that point, I always skimmed over those parts, including the “acknowledgments.” Since then I have tried to take a moment to read opening words of the author and have found that it has made me more prepared for, aware of, and grateful for the person whose “art” I am about to absorb.
The same principal applies to sheet music/books. I recently purchased two new church music books. One for myself (What Praise Can I Play on Sunday?by Carol Tornquist) and one for an adult student, Phillip Keveren’s 2015 Weekly Worship: 52 Hymns for a Year of Praise. The latter especially had touching words that resonated with me and touched my heart. All it took was one moment – one moment to stop and read the heart and intentions of another.
This coming weekend much of America revels in Super Bowl Sunday. In honor of the upcoming festivities, today’s post is a round-up of ideas for the upcoming week.
I’ll be sharing some football-themed resources from around the web for this week’s lessons, a few of my favorite game-day eats to spark your taste buds before you hit the grocery, and a couple of personal memories of years past.
A few years ago I implemented the “One-Minute Club” in my studio. The idea, first made famous by Jane Bastien, has been continued and further developed by Susan Paradis. Susan has a wealth of free downloadable materials which she redesigns each year.
There are downloadable charts, flashcards, and full-size and business-card size certificates available. See more here.
The first year I did this, it was ongoing throughout the year. For me, this didn’t work, however, because I often forgot and wasn’t consistent. The following year I started doing monthly challenges with my students and decided to make this the challenge for April-May, approximately 6-7 weeks leading up to the Spring Recital. I love doing it this way as the whole studio is focused and I do it at every single lesson.
I put together a permanent portable board from an old corkboard I had laying around. I covered it in white cardboard, bought cute letters from Target, posted the levels, winners from each year, and guidelines (so I remember my rules from year to year(!). I keep plastic lanyards inside a plastic holder made by cutting off the bottom of a plastic sleeve cover (more on the lanyards below). Color-coded copies of each level of notes are available so students can practice while waiting before or after lessons or even during their lab time.
Using a larger chart (purchased from United Arts and Education) helps me see each student’s progress from year to year.
Hey there! Welcome to Piano Pantry where we talk about piano teaching, loving food, and living life. I'm Amy, my husband Drew and I live in Indiana. My favorite things include Mexican food, reading, organizing, and spending time with those I love.