|Yamaha DGX530B 88-key piano|
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We met with the landlords, who are very nice, and decided to proceed. The first step is getting a zoning variance; however, there have been businesses in the space for 30 years so we aren't too concerned about that. I dropped off the application with check today and am now waiting for the zoning board meeting in October.
I'm 'sort of' excited but not really until the board meeting is over...then I'll be jumping!
I'm planning on adding piano classes in Bemus Point on Thursdays and possible Wednesday evenings. All private lessons will remain in my home until I have money to buy a grand for the studio. Even then, those that are on the west side of the lake will remain in my home. I'm hoping to add four classes this year and more next year.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Unfortunately, most students don't spend much, if any, time at the piano and so when lessons start up again in the Fall (if they haven't totally lost interest), we have to spend a lot of time reviewing concepts before we can proceed.
- preparing an 'end-of-book' recital for the Fall,
- learning a new piece of sheet music to be played at a recital in the Fall,
- reviewing part of the book so that the concepts remain fresh.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
- Ask them to play for you and then praise them for the good (ignore the bad!)
- Talk about their piano playing with your friends while your child is in the room
- Encourage them to play for their friends that visit
- Encourage them to call or email me if they have questions or problems
- Ask them to play a piece that you enjoy from their lessons and then sit and listen to them with all your attention on them
- Encourage the rest of the family to sit and listen and praise them also
Monday, May 10, 2010
Your child has a lot of demands for his attention. We don’t want one of them to be his/her stomach. Plan on giving your child a nutritious snack (NO SUGAR!) before the lesson or before practice sessions so that they can concentrate fully on learning. Junk food will not help their piano playing unless they are learning a spastic piece! If your child requires carbs due to low blood sugar, make sure that they have it before the lesson or practice as well. You know your child’s body better than I do. Do what their bodies need before the lesson so that we don’t have to push so hard to maintain the focus needed to learn this new skill. Your child and I will thank you for it!
Friday, May 7, 2010
A wonderful birthday or Christmas gift would be a cushion for the hard wooden bench they have to sit on everyday. For those crafty moms who have lots of time, why not make one? For the rest of us, Friendship House has some nice options here: http://www.friendshiphouse.com/product/product_view.aspx?UID=927046C6-1A07-406B-BFB5-6D1E04E1BAA8 for about $62 in lots of colors.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Encourage your child to sit properly at the piano.
- They should sit on the front half of the bench.
- The knees should be just under the keyboard.
- Feet should be flat on the floor or on a stool if legs aren't long enough.
- Arms should be parallel to the floor. If not raise the bench using pillows or books.
- Back should be flat not arched in - will get back aches if arched.
- Shoulders and arms should be relaxed.
- Wrists should be straight across not humped or sagging.
- Hands should be naturally curved so they can play on finger tips (which means finger nails need to be short.)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Dominique told me last week before we began our lessons:
“I was sitting in chorus class and I was thinking…’I can’t WAIT to come to piano!’ I was so excited I went home and practiced!”
Now that’s the kind of enthusiasm every piano teacher wants for each of their students! Yes, we did have a good lesson.
I’m proud of each of my students and pray each week that they will go home and practice well and enjoy making music.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Because we only have 30 or 45 minutes in the lesson, I will sometimes assign theory for your child to do at home. The purpose is to reinforce the concepts learned in the lesson. Writing what they are learning helps to reinforce it in their brains. I also may assign flashcards to help them quickly recognize note names or music symbols. You can help by reviewing their theory with them as you would their school homework and by doing the flashcards with them often.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The fingers are very important in playing piano. The first knuckles need to be strong enough to press the keys firmly without the knuckles collapsing. And the fingers need to stay lightly on the keys so that they can quickly press the keys when required.
You can help your child this week by observing their fingers. Are they close to the keys or sticking up in the air. Just a gentle reminder to keep fingers close to the keys should be enough to help.
Remember the donut holes in the very first lessons? These are good for strengthening the first knuckles. Have them do these every day.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Rhythm is the heartbeat of music. It’s what makes music pleasing to our ears and bodies. We feel the rhythm in our bodies. Ever noticed your foot tapping or hand tapping the steering wheel as you listen to music? That’s rhythm.
I am constantly reminding students to count, say something, outloud so that they keep the rhythm steady. You can help by tapping your foot or clap along with their playing. If you can’t, then the rhythm is not correct. (Unless you really have no sense of rhythm. In that case, get another family member to do it! lol)
Monday, February 22, 2010
How should your child practice? Slowly, in small sections, hands alone and then hands together.
When should your child practice? Everyday that they eat. I have given them one day off, so they should be practicing six days a week in order to get better.
The assignment sheet should be helping your child practice. It is a reminder of what we did in the lesson and what should be accomplished during the week.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
We have a perfect opportunity for your child on Friday, March 19th. Alexander Ghindin, winner of the 2007 Cleveland Int'l Piano Competition, will perform at St. Luke's in Jamestown. It is free for students. I will take anyone who wishes to go with me. However, you too, as parents, can attend for only $10 and have an enjoyable evening with your child listening to great music. Let me know if you'd like tickets.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
This week, maybe two or three days after the lesson, ask your child what did you learn in your lesson this week and see if they can demonstrate it or explain it to you. If not, have them review the assignment sheet for any clues to help them remember. They should also review the written words in the lesson books. Many times we forget to read the words and just go directly to playing the music. This review will help to keep the concepts fresh in their minds.
Monday, January 18, 2010
- Each week just a day or two before the lesson, have a family recital where your child plays their current pieces for you. In this way, they will see where they still need work, if any. And, it will help them to always be ready to play for people.
- Encourage your child to play for their friends when they come over. Give them as many performance opportunities as possible to help build their confidence. When playing for friends, the should pick their favorite and best pieces to play.
That's it for this week. Stay tuned and Happy Practicing!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
You are spending money each week for your child to learn piano. How can you help him to achieve his goals in piano?
- schedule practice time. Mark piano practice on your calendar each day. It is most helpful to establishing a habit if the practice is done at the same time every day, or associated with a certain activity such as right after dinner or after homework is done.
- check assignment. Just like you would check their school homework, set aside some time to look at your child's assignment sheet with them to be sure they are following the specific directions that I write down. It is most frustrating to me and the student when they come to the lesson and apologize for not doing something because they didn't look at the assignment. By checking the assignment sheet, they are learning to be diligent and observant. These traits will carry over into other areas of life.
That's all I'll give you for this week. Stay tuned for more ways to help your child in their piano learning.