Pitfalls and Solutions for Teaching Piano

This morning, I was reviewing a piano course for children. There are dozens of these available. They are series of books that include one for piano lessons, one for music theory, and then supplemental song books, often dedicated to holidays or themes. The pages are colorful, sometimes with cartoon-like characters that serve as friendly guides … Continue reading Pitfalls and Solutions for Teaching Piano

Why Teaching Pitches Is So Difficult and What To Do About It

I am one who easily looses things. Where did I put that sweater? I can’t find my water bottle. I need that wrench to fix the shower but I don’t know where it is. This is more of my life than I care to admit, unless I employ one priceless strategy. Always put things away … Continue reading Why Teaching Pitches Is So Difficult and What To Do About It

Curiosity and Learning

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it breathes life into every learner. Think of anything you have ever wanted to learn, anything after which you sought more information. Remember times when you thought or said, "isn't that interesting; I wonder what that is." "Or I wonder how that works." Many times, after having your … Continue reading Curiosity and Learning

An Easier Way to Make Learning Tracks

Whether you are musical director for a show, chorus director, or band or orchestra director, you know that students usually learn faster and more effectively if they have a recording of their part with which to listen and practice. While these Cds or mp3 audio files are an effective tool, they can take a tremendous … Continue reading An Easier Way to Make Learning Tracks

Covid-19: What’s a Parent to Do?

As the Covid-19 pandemic persists, and the Delta variant infects school age children much more prolifically than the original strain did, returning to school after the summer recess has suddenly become complex and confusing for parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Laws banning mask mandates fly in the face of CDC recommendations that all students wear … Continue reading Covid-19: What’s a Parent to Do?

Music Technology Tips for Parents and Teachers

Because so many schools are still doing distance learning this fall, parents and teachers are turning to online music resources to help supplement the education of their students. The following tips and resources will help teachers and parents integrate more music technology into their students lives.  Tips and Resources for Music Teachers  Tips If you … Continue reading Music Technology Tips for Parents and Teachers

Back To School Isn’t What It Used To Be

For most, this is back to school week. If you are a teacher reading this article, I encourage you to share it with parents of your students. This discussion is meant for all stake holders in children and their education. Children are returning to school campuses for the resumption of in-person instruction, or for a … Continue reading Back To School Isn’t What It Used To Be

Let’s Not Make It Anything Else But Love

Recently, I was directing a musical theater production. As I coached one of the leads in her song, she became excited over what I was having her do with it. Before we started the session, she knew the lyrics and the pitches, and was close on most of the rhythms. But that was it. What … Continue reading Let’s Not Make It Anything Else But Love

How Do We Keep Going When It Keeps Going?

As case counts of the Delta variant of Covid-19 continue to grow, many school districts are delaying the new school year, or returning to remote formats. While we have learned a great deal about how to best deliver remote learning formats to our students, difficulties persist. We all realize that there is no remote equivalent … Continue reading How Do We Keep Going When It Keeps Going?