Non-locomotor steady beat for internalization

Why move to the steady beat? One of the most foundational concept for any music student is the need to internalize the steady beat. One effective way is to simply move to the beat. Well-known music pedagogues like Orff, Kodaly, Gordon, Dalcroze teach movement in different ways, but they all believed movement to music is…… Continue reading Non-locomotor steady beat for internalization

Piano studio setup for online lessons

The Covid-19 pandemic has required piano teachers from around the world to adapt quickly from in-person traditional lessons to online piano lessons. For  teachers like myself who had zero experience teaching online piano lessons, it brought some challenges. But these challenges were worth working through to ensure the safety of my students and their families.…… Continue reading Piano studio setup for online lessons

Group Piano Class – Ideas from Spring 2019

Group piano class is one of my favorite events of the year. About six of my students are able to make it, and we gather in my basement studio. During this hour, we enjoy each other’s company, listen to each other’s pieces, play a couple group music games, and folk dance. The students usually bound…… Continue reading Group Piano Class – Ideas from Spring 2019

Creating an Effective Progress Report

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I am always looking for ways to make something better. Perhaps it comes from all those years of piano lessons where we ask ourselves the question “What can I do differently next time to make it better, more musical?” My latest project has been to…… Continue reading Creating an Effective Progress Report

Steady Beat Part 2: Beyond the Metronome – Movement Activities to Establish Steady Beat with Piano Students

Steady beat used to be a concept that I used to assume all students just kind of knew. I didn’t understand the deep necessity for students experiencing it, and how a strong sense of the steady beat would improve other areas of a student’s performance in piano. I talked more about this in the importance…… Continue reading Steady Beat Part 2: Beyond the Metronome – Movement Activities to Establish Steady Beat with Piano Students

Steady Beat Part 1: The Importance of Establishing Steady Beat in Piano Students

My first two years as a classroom music teacher, I had my students do rhythm drills. We started with rhythms of half and whole notes, while students used traditional counting (1-2-3-4). From one lesson to the next, they could not accurately clap the correct rhythms and count. They could tell me that a quarter note…… Continue reading Steady Beat Part 1: The Importance of Establishing Steady Beat in Piano Students

Adaptations in the Piano Studio

Even though I graduated with a music education degree, there are some things that you just don’t fully understand on their importance until it smacks you in the face while you are teaching. For me, learning adaptations for students with disabilities was more of an abstract concept than something I fully grasped. But when I…… Continue reading Adaptations in the Piano Studio

Catholic Mass “Cheat Sheet” for New Musicians

I grew up in a Methodist church where the only song we sang unannounced was the Doxology. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Then I started playing at Catholic Mass, where there are so many songs that musicians know when to start simply based on the words said by the priest. It was so…… Continue reading Catholic Mass “Cheat Sheet” for New Musicians

Too Slow, Too Fast: 8 Things to Remember as a Guest Musician at a Catholic Mass

I love going to different churches and contributing to Mass by playing piano. Each church has their own way of doing things and as a guest musician you have to do your best to follow their traditions. But playing at Mass as a guest is always just a bit more complicated than it seems. Let…… Continue reading Too Slow, Too Fast: 8 Things to Remember as a Guest Musician at a Catholic Mass

Wichita Area: Summer 2018 Music and Arts Events

Sunday, my husband and I attended an outdoor concert at Bartlett Arboretum where we heard the bluegrass music of the Steel Wheels. If you haven’t heard this group, go to Amazon Prime Music and listen. They are seriously amazing. Not only was the music amazing, but the location was beautiful. You are surrounded by trees…… Continue reading Wichita Area: Summer 2018 Music and Arts Events