Episodes about: teaching

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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09 The Way to Teach Beginners with No Book (Tim Topham)

Tim Topham, internationally recognized leader in music education and founder of Top Music, joins the show to talk about his approach to delay method books and reading in order to focus on creativity and musicality first! Tim says, “Why don’t we leave the method books alone for a few weeks and do improvisation, creativity, musicality, and skill training first, before we introduce reading? I’m not against method books at all. They are a brilliant, structured, scaffolded way to teach students to read music. But is that the thing to do in lesson one? And my answer would be a very strong “no!”

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08 The Way Creativity Cultivates Connection (Christopher Oill)

Christopher Oill joins the show to talk about creativity, composition, connecting to students, and how to balance structure with freedom. Chris is such a fun person to talk to because he’s smart, innovative, personable, and funny! Even if there’s no set topic of discussion, he is always engaging and I guarantee he will inspire you to think outside the box and make you laugh!

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06 The Way to Teach Piano is to Teach Practicing (Michael Richey)

Do your students practice? Do they know how to practice? Are you sure they’re doing it effectively and efficiently? In this episode I talk with Michael Richey of the Tennessee Music Academy about how the main goal of a piano lesson is to teach a student how to practice! We talk about introducing a piece, beginners, transfer students, motivation, student readiness, and he gives us 5 tips . . .

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04 The Way Movement Unlocks Musicality (David Frego)

In this episode, I talk with David Frego about the Dalcroze Eurhythmics philosophy. David has many years experience teaching piano and music, incorporating Eurhythmics. He is a Master Teaching Artist with the American Eurhythmics Society and leads teacher training sessions all over the world. We discuss the history of Dalcroze, the philosophy, the concepts of Time, Space, and Energy, and the four pillars of the philosophy: Eurhythmics, Rhythmic Solfége, Improvisation, and Plastique Animée.

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02 The Way to Teach Beginning Improv – 5 Tips

In this episode we talk about the benefits of improvisation and why every musician should improvise, even from the very beginning! Even if you’re a teacher who doesn’t really improvise, you can still teach it! We go over the 5 practical tips to help you teach improv to your beginner piano students.

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01 The Way to Teach Better is to Keep Learning

How do you improve your teaching and business? Professional Development! Sounds boring, but it’s actually fun! In this episode, we talk about the many benefits of attending conferences. I also give you info on several conferences and workshops you should check out! Of course, I share my own memorable stories, too!

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