Teaching qualities

What do you consider to be the qualities of a good teacher? When I think back to my own teachers – both music and academic – I think patience and understanding were important. It helped if they were approachable and friendly in times when I found things hard and needed extra help. Plus overall a…

Playing the music through is not practice

As a music teacher, one of the most common questions I get asked is about practice – including ‘how long should I or my child practice for?’ and ‘how do I motivate them?’. There’s not a ‘one size fits all’ for either question – we all have different personalities and what works for one person…

Bar lines are not stop signs!

It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop Confucius Those bar lines can be the most troublesome places for stopping! They often act as a bit of a rest stop (whether consciously or subconsciously!) while the brain figures out what to play next. We try several strategies in my music…

So many possibilities

There are eighty-eight keys on a piano and within that, an entire universe James Rhodes I absolutely love this quote. When I’m playing piano I often get lost in my own world – or universe! Do you have a favourite instrument related quote?

Making up rhythm words

I’m a big fan of trying to tailor teaching to the individual where possible. When teaching rhythms one of my fun things to do is to come up with words that are relevant to the student. Sometimes the old favourites like ‘tea’ for crotchets and ‘co-ffee’ for quavers work great. But often it’s more fun…

Giving students the tools to succeed

Spoon-feeding in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon E.M.Forster If you think about it contact time with students is very small. An average lesson is often half an hour a week leaving lots of time in between for students to work on their own A week is a long…