Welcome to the Piano Sensei Way! I’m your host, Clinton Pratt, and I’m here to help you master the art of running a successful piano teaching studio!

The Piano Sensei Way is a podcast where I help piano teachers minimize stress and maximize success! I share my way of doing things, which in my opinion is the best way! It’s similar to Mr. Miyagi in the movie The Karate Kid where he tells Daniel to wax the car, sand the floor, and paint the fence. Daniel thought he was crazy just doing Mr. Miyagi’s chores for him. But Mr. Miyagi knew what he was doing! He was training Daniel’s muscle memory so he could defend himself! Similarly, I am so confident in my ways, if you trust me and try it, you’ll see the results!

The Piano Sensei Way is available on all your favorite platforms. Just click the button below or listen right here on this page! 

Episodes

Use the podcast player for each episode below, or click the title of the episode to go to the post for that specific show. There, you will see all the show notes, listener comments, and the YouTube video version, too!

16 The Way to Flow is to Play Slow

After I posted in the Piano Teacher Central Facebook group saying “slow, slow, slow to keep the flow, flow, flow,” Pablo Martinez shared it in his Instagram to his followers because he was just thinking the same thing! We linked up in this episode to share stories and ideas on effective practicing. We learn about Pablo’s journey and how he had to rethink how to practice due to an injury. He had to make progress but maximize his time at the piano in order to not further injure himself.

15 The Way to Sustain Summer Income

Do your students want to take the summer off or want fewer lessons, resulting in reduced income for you? It can be frustrating, stressful, and depressing to have to struggle for income in the summer when your students drop off or take breaks. Don’t worry, The Piano Sensei Way has solved this problem! Not only can you maintain your income in the summer months, but I show you how to actually increase it! And you’ll be surprised to know that this is possible even when your students want fewer lessons, and even when you want a vacation, too! We talk about having a flat rate tuition, special projects or events in the summer, and different options for students to add on extras. This episode is taken from a YouTube live Q&A so you’ll hear some questions and comments from the audience. “Summer Camp Guru” Jennifer Foxx actually joined the stream to discuss her ideas and help me answer audience questions!

14 The Way to Make Studio Music Videos (Mikey Ashmore)

I was so impressed when I watched Mikey Ashmore’s students in a studio music video he posted on Facebook this past Halloween. I reached out to him to get him on the show to talk about how he came up with this idea and how he pulled it off! You’ve got to see this video and listen to my interview with him, it’s so fun! He walks us through the steps of writing custom parts for the ensemble, rehearsing, having a piano camp, and then recording and shooting the video. We discuss the benefits which include social interaction, increased student practicing in order to not let down their teammates, more performance confidence, younger students being inspired by older ones, and just plain old fun!

13 The Way to Teach Theory Classes (Glory St. Germain)

Teaching theory is a must . . . and it’s even better in groups! It’s more fun, students get social activity, they gain encouragement and support from their peers, and you can increase your income! Based on the Cooperative Learning Theory, students learn faster in small groups. You can also maximize your effectiveness by teaching several students all at once! Glory St. Germain gives joins us to give us lots of information on how to implement such a program in your studio.

12 The Way to Make Scales Easier (Zac Adamson)

Is there only one way to finger scales? Do C, G, D, A, and E always start with left hand 54321? Zac Adamson says “no!” We discuss alternate scale fingerings and how they can help students (and you!) play with more natural ease and flow. During this episode, he demonstrates specific scales and their alternative fingerings on his piano and I try them out on my piano! Zac has created a diagram for you to use which simplifies things and allows you to see similarities and patterns.