Who says piano lessons can't be fun? I'm all about giving my piano students music that they love. My goal with each of my piano students is to instill in them a love for piano that will last a lifetime - and if that means we rely on a steady diet of Star Wars and Harry Potter themes, then I'm all over that! I truly believe that my kids can get a solid music education without having to play strictly "classical" music.
My music library needed a bit of a facelift, so I did some shopping for new music this morning. I keep lots of music on hand, so I can give them to my students as needed. Music and materials are part of lesson tuition at Grace Piano Studio, so parents don't need to pay extra for them.
Two of my go-to sites for new music are ComposeCreate.com and pianopronto.com. These two sites have lots of fun, interesting sounding pieces that students of every level will enjoy. Many of the pieces sound harder than they actually are - a win-win!
Hey there, piano teachers! I just registered to attend the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Lombard, IL, from July 26-29, 2017. I'm looking forward to networking with and learning from fabulous piano teachers and performers from all over the United States.
If you're attending the conference, let me know! I'd love to meet up.
Let's be real. Learning an instrument is not always fun. Sometimes it is good, old-fashioned hard work! As much as I want my students to enjoy learning piano, I also know that piano study is more than just learning about notes and rhythms and having fun with cool pieces. We are learning life skills. So whenever the going gets tough, I try to remind my piano students and their parents of the long-term benefits of playing piano:
I could go on! All these things (and more) are developed through the study of a musical instrument. It's more than the notes!
Are you a parent or a practice partner of a young child in piano lessons? You need to listen to the Piano Parent Podcast!
A cursory listen of a few of the episodes convinces me that this podcast will be immeasurable help to anyone who is raising a child in piano lessons, regardless of whether or not you have any previous musical experience. You will find that you are not alone in the questions or discouragements you may face in this process.
Just a few items you will learn about:
To be honest, it is quite easy to remain a "lone ranger" teacher, and I really feel that this ends up affecting our students in a negative way. Piano teaching can be a very lonely and isolated occupation - but it doesn't have to be!
I've been working hard lately to find creative ways to stay connected with other piano teachers, stay current, be informed, learn more about the best piano teaching techniques, and broaden my musical network.
I want my students to feel connected to each other, too, which is why I am launching Grace Piano Studio group lessons in the Fall of 2017!
So what are some of the resources we piano teachers have available to us?
Join a local piano teachers association
I recently joined the New England Piano Teachers' Association. There are piano teacher meetings I can attend, recital and competition opportunities for my students, and endless resources for me to take advantage of for my professional development.
Reach out to local piano teachers and ask to grab coffee
A quick google search will show you the many qualified piano teachers who work in the area (who may also feel isolated, by the way!). Shoot them an email, ask them to grab coffee, and start networking! There is so much to be learned from other teachers, and so much encouragement to be had. We all face similar struggles, and it's nice to know we are not alone. You may even get student referrals if their studio is full.
Take advantage of the incredible teaching blogs available!
I am excited to announce that Grace Piano Studio will launch group piano lessons in the Fall of 2017!
What are group piano lessons?
Group piano lessons are a forum in which students come together to learn from each other, perform for each other, and have some fun with other pianists their age!
Grace Piano Studio will host four Saturday group piano lessons each academic year, starting in the Fall of 2017. These are included in piano lesson tuition, so there is no additional charge. Attendance by all Grace Piano Studio piano students is highly encouraged because this is such an exciting learning opportunity!
What are the benefits of group lessons?
How can I sign up for group piano lessons at Grace Piano Studio?
Click here to contact Grace Piano Studio!
Michal Grace Harris
Piano Teacher & Accompanist