Using online lessons to help students who stop at the bar-line!

Hands up music teachers if you have ever used the words “don’t stop!” during a music lesson. Often this is when a student pauses to think at a bar-line or automatically comes to an abrupt halt when they make a mistake. As this rather humorous quote points out, “Some pianists have alcoholic rubato – they…

What is music?

What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love! Music is the Sister of Poetry and her Mother is…

Jungle Photobomb: a time signatures game

This game is SUPER!! Sorry, make that a MASTERPIECE!!! Music student user The camera is all set up in the jungle, but will you get a photobomb from the cheeky animals? ‘Jungle Photobomb’ is one of the most popular music theory games on my website and is always a huge hit with students learning about…

Music lessons and the individual learner

Teach the student first, the music second and the piano third Frances Clark At first glance you might look at this quote and think, ‘hang on, my job is to teach the piano, so why is it not top of the list?!’. But actually it highlights the importance of thinking about the individual when teaching….

How helpful are recordings when learning a new piece?

Hands up if you look up performances on places like YouTube when learning a new music piece? Back in the olden days when I was having music lessons, there was no such thing as YouTube. Internet was through the phone line (showing my age now!) and deathly slow. Lecturers at university actually suggested taking a…

Codebreaker: using the new ABRSM music theory online exams

I have always loved teaching ABRSM grade 5 music theory. I find it has such a positive overall impact on progress and helps students become more rounded musicians. As one student remarked recently, “I understand the music I’m playing so much better now!”. So it was with great interest that I read about a new…

Teaching music using adventure and the imagination

I loved doing this and I won as well!!! Music student In Sophie’s last piano lesson we found ourselves in a clearing in the forest. Straight ahead was a rope ladder and next to it we could just about make out some kind of wooden chest hiding behind overgrown flowers. We carefully moved the flowers…

Spooky music theory games for Halloween

This is the first year I’m not teaching during Halloween week so won’t get to see any students turn up for lessons in their scary costumes! But if you are looking for some fun spooky themed games to play with your music students this week, I have several on my website and some are free….

How rock climbing inspired my piano playing

If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones Roy Bennett A few weeks ago I went rock climbing for the first time. I’m not great with heights so it was quite a big deal for…

New ‘Studio’ pack of beginner games for piano teachers

If you are a ‘Studio Teacher‘ on my website, I’m delighted to let you know that my new Studio: Piano Beginner pack has been added to your account. Designed for use in lessons, this is a collection of online games including “Aliens Love Pizza” or “Sleeping Dragons” to make learning fun right from the first…

As a music teacher are you a Mrs Vivace or a Mrs Andante?

Play is not a break from learning. It is endless, delightful, deep, engaging, practical learning. It’s the doorway into the child’s heart! Vince Gowmon Imagine there are two rooms! In the first one Mrs Andante is teaching little Sophie the piano. They have just played some scales with the teacher testing each one in turn…

Pirate Treasure: a free two player music theory game

One of the first music theory games I made was Pirate Treasure and it has always been a huge hit with my students – particularly when playing against me! In this two player game, students have to really know their note values or risk losing! It covers 1, 2, 3 and 4 beat notes so…