Everyone who teaches should try to learn a completely new skill every few years. It keeps you humble. It keeps you patient and kind to both yourself and to your students.
I heard our local Taiko group play at a wedding reception a few months back. I was entranced by the sound and the dance . . . → Read More: Learning Ogi Matsuri
How do YOU learn?
It’s an important question that we often ask ourselves as we sit attempting to help an individual student conquer a concept or skill. How do you learn? How can I best help you? It’s also an important question to ask ourselves about ourselves. How do I learn? Unfortunately, if we are . . . → Read More: Great Finds: Teaching Tools for Troubled Readers & Jazz from Elena Cobb
I was perusing a discussion on one of the social media groups I belong to and was struck by a comment on resilience. The discussion concerned judges and whether certain types of comments are appropriate. One person was adamant that students needed to develop enough resilience not to be devastated by comments—even those that might . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Resilience
I had the great pleasure of doing this latest Artist Portrait interview with pianist Matthew Odell—and face to face too! He is an energetic and down to earth person who inspired our students and teachers during his workshop, masterclass, and performance at EAC a couple of weeks ago.
He’s also a busy person. He has . . . → Read More: Artist Portrait: Matthew Odell
Last week, I was given the gift of seeing myself and my teaching from without on two different occasions. Firstly, Matthew Odell was at the college to do a workshop and masterclass and to accompany soprano Cindee Sanner’s recital. He gave us a wonderful session on technique and then expertly applied the principles he had discussed . . . → Read More: Looking in the Mirror
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of adjudicating for a piano competition about a 90 minute drive from here. The format was pretty much what you would expect: four divisions from elementary to advanced repertoire and 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes. The competition was open format with the pianists sitting together with the audience. But . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Competition With A Twist
“I’ve played piano for over 30 years and nobody has ever told me to start in the middle of a measure,” said one of my adult students last week.
She had been attempting to practice a Brahms passage where the motives echoed across the bar-lines by starting at the beginning of each multi measure section. . . . → Read More: Middle Parts & Orphans
Often when I am teaching and practicing, I say or do something successful and think, “How did I know that?” Sometimes, I can mentally thank the person who blessed me with a particular tidbit. Other times I just throw a blanket thank you out to the universe. So, I collected some sage tidbits to share. . . . → Read More: Some Sage Advice
Remember my story wherein Teacher 42 became so uncomfortable with musical choices that she finally said, “You mean there’s no right way?” I concluded that I had given that teacher more doubt and uncertainty than she could handle. (PA Shorts: 42)
Well, I read an article, Helping Students Deal With Uncertainty In The Classroom, on Edutopia . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: The Uncertainty Principle
Since I have been convalescing and forbidden to do anything particularly physical, I have had a lot of time to read. Two tidbits struck my fancy this week. The first concerns the ignition of talent and the second the fact that we never know where or when our influence will actually come to bear.
. . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Ignition – Blast Off!
“Wow !” I said, “You are like a different pianist!” And she was. Before, there had been surges and awkward accents in the opening to her Intermezzo, impossible to remove despite hard work on both of our parts. Now, after one week on meds for ADHD, there was a beautiful calm flow and elegance about . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: What’s On The Inside
This Artist Portrait comes to you in a bit of a different format. Because of Reuel’s tour schedule, we were unable to video Skype our interview. So, we talked on the phone & emailed each other and the result is what you read here. Enjoy!
When I first listened to Musicophilia by Reuel Meditz, I . . . → Read More: Artist Portrait: Reuel Meditz
In my capacity as QOTS (you had to be there- if not, see my Essential Skills Series) I quite often need to be the instigator of radical change in my students. When interviewing transfer students in my private studio, we discuss both the student’s and my goals for their musical studies. I feel that this discussion . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: Change, Change, Change
Last night on The Next Food Network Star, Alton Brown asked several contestants about the worst thing that could possibly happen during their demo. The answers were predictable- the equipment could fail, the oil might not come to temperature, the mic might not work, there might be a knife incident involving blood, etc. He shook . . . → Read More: Uh…
It’s so wonderful to have cyber colleagues. Lately some of mine have launched new projects and even a blog or two. I celebrate with them as they add new facets to their careers. A web guru friend cautioned me to beware of promoting others’ work lest it pull readers away from my own. But, I . . . → Read More: Some Congrats Are Due!