What ISN’T practice?

Playing your music through is not practice What do you consider a typical music practice session should consist of? Being able to play the entire piece through is important but doing just this – and nothing else – will not help you improve. The same mistakes and stumbles will remain (and possibly get reinforced) if…

Every picture (or music piece) tells a story

Every picture tells a story Do you use storytelling in your music studio? I have just had a great lesson with a young piano student. They were playing the notes really well but needed some expression. Rather than talking about this section needing to be soft or that bit loud, we came up with a…

Begin a new adventure

You fall in love with every book you touch. You never break the spine or tear the pages. That would be cruel. You have secret favorites but, when asked, you say that you could never choose Sarah Addison Allen This quote is about fiction books but could equally apply to sheet music. I love all…

Motivating tired students

In an ideal world every student that walks through the music room door would be enthusiastic to learn, ready to fully listen, and engage 100% with the lesson. Sometimes though they arrive after a full day of school or work and might be tired out or have had a bad day. Even though you try…

Have you got ‘backing track’ syndrome?

When I first started learning the flute it was in the days where you had to buy separate books for each exam piece and there was no such thing as a CD or downloadable backing track (showing my age now!). Instead we lived next door to a lovely lady who played the piano and mum…

Don’t forget to have fun

Be creative and have fun Do you ever make time for fun in your music practice sessions (or suggest students do)? This is something I’ve always tried to do myself. Rather than spending the whole time focusing on what needs to be improved I leave a bit of time at the end for just playing….

Follow the musical clues to ‘Escape The House’

You find yourself in the hallway of a house but the front door is locked! How will you escape? There are lots of rooms to explore and musical clues to follow which will help you find your way out. All the questions are grade 1 level and include time signatures, note naming, rest values, musical…

Do your students suffer from ‘jump straight in’ syndrome?

I teach a lot of young students and we often use music games to reinforce what they are learning (as you may have gathered from my website!). I’ve noticed recently that you can actually tell a lot about a student’s learning style just by playing a game. Recently, for example, I was helping someone with time…