Episodes about: teaching

25 The Way to Develop Intrinsic Drive (Evan Mitchell)

Dr. Evan Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Florida, joins us to share his ideas about how scientific studies and the Montessori learning model can be applied to the piano studio. We discuss extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, goals, rewards, deadlines, the power of a question, making things into a game, and teacher-centered versus student-centered lessons.

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24 The Way to Evolve Your Studio (Amy Chaplin)

Amy Chaplin is a piano teaching entrepreneur — In addition to running her private studio, she is a blogger, podcaster, and presenter! Today we discuss three of her “big picture” studio evolutions: lesson formats, group class scheduling, and dabbling in other ventures. We talk about the motivation behind making changes and advice on evolving your studio. You’ll enjoy hearing her stories even if you aren’t looking to make any major changes!

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23 The Way to Engage Parents (Barbie Wong)

How do you help parents motivate their children to practice? Is there such a thing as a parent who is too involved? Should parents sit in on lessons? Barbie Wong joins us to discuss how to educate and engage parents so their children will thrive in piano lessons! Lots of great tips and stories in this episode!

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22 The Way Mnemonics Don’t Work (Samantha Coates)

Every Good Boy Deserves . . . ? We’re all familiar with these sayings, but maybe every good teacher should think about the usefulness of mnemonic devices for reading music. Samantha Coates is here to explain and demonstrate how these traditional teaching tools are confusing and a waste of time!

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21 The Way to Spark Motivation (Amy Immerman)

Amy Immerman, Founder of Cincinnati Music Academy (a school that she helped grow to 750 students), joins the show to discuss motivation! Is it our job to motivate students? How can we help spark motivation? How can parental involvement help? We both talk about our own practicing and motivation growing up. Amy describes some engaging practice games, a 100-Day Practice Challenge, how events keep students excited, and advice on vanquishing “energy vampires!”

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20 The Way to Count … or Not!

Prompted by a lively discussion in the Piano Teacher Central Facebook Group, I decided to host a live debate on YouTube! This is the recording of our “debate” on counting. The teachers who joined me were Mike Langer, Brian Lotter, Jeff Millis, Val Muller, Harrison Richter, and Jordan Thomas. It was a very thought-provoking discussion where we discussed the meaning of “counting”; if and how it helps students learn rhythms; other ways to learn, know, and feel rhythms besides counting; and using words and syllables instead of just numbers. Below are some of my favorite quotes from the episode …

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17 The Way Forward: Setting Expectations in Piano Lessons (Jake McHugh)

Jake posted in the group “Piano Teacher Central” on Facebook about setting expectations for piano students in his studio. It was quite the lively discussion as there were strong and varying views on what kind of standards we should set, and what we should do if students don’t meet those expectations. Despite Jake being fairly new to piano teaching, I tended to agree with his ideas and was impressed at how thoughtful he was. He agreed to come on the show to talk about expectations, requirements, measuring progress, setting goals, rewarding successes, and the question: “can lessons still be fun?”

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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.

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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.

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