As much as I love to travel, sometimes I just can’t make it to all the cool places to enjoy all the unique experiences the world has to offer. At least with the internet we can sometimes get a small taste of it!
For example, from the comfort of your own home, you can pay a virtual visit to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam to watch and listen to their latest musical offerings.
HT: The Musician’s Way Fall 2017 Newsletter
Having just gone through the process of trying to determine the best seats for the money at an upcoming Broadway show, I was delighted to discover this authoritative advice from a design engineer on how to select the best seat in the concert hall based on the shape of the room. I will definitely be referring back to this handy guide the next time I have to make such a nerve-wracking decision!
HT: The Musician’s Way Fall 2017 Newsletter
After months of anticipation, Musical U has finally launched their brand new podcast: The Musicality Podcast! Here’s a quick link to the audio file and shownotes for the interview I did for one of their episodes titled, A Mindset for Musicality. I already subscribed via my podcast app and am so looking forward to tuning in regularly to gain inspiration and ideas for my own musical development and for helping my students become more musical!
And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a prize package worth over $500!
To celebrate the launch of the brand new Musicality podcast (1st episode is going live on Monday!), MusicalU is offering a giveaway of over $500 worth of music-related prizes (including my For the Love of Music course!). I only listen to a couple of podcasts regularly, but I’m really excited to see what Christopher Sutton has in store for each episode. He is tapping into a variety of musicians and music educators all across the globe, and I’m excited that I was able to be a part of this first episode, sharing about some of my own experiences toward becoming a more musical musician. Be sure to enter the giveaway and then tune in for the first podcast on Monday!
Years ago, I subscribed to the Piano Explorer magazine for my studio, letting students take home a copy if they were interested and archiving the rest in a notebook for future reference. Eventually, I let my subscription expire and its existence faded from my memory. Something recently reminded me of the Piano Explorer and I decided to re-subscribe and give each of my students a copy this year to see if they enjoy it. (If you purchase a group subscription of 5 or more copies, it is only $6/subscription!) I’m also planning to incorporate some of the activities into our practice incentive theme for the year, so that might provide some extra motivation to check them out!
As I’ve been perusing the latest issues that arrived in the mail this month, I am reminded of what a great little gem this magazine is! Written especially for piano students, each 15 page issue has interesting articles, fun facts, engaging activities, and more. And now, there is even a companion Piano Explorer website that students can visit to watch pre-selected video clips of music from the composer of the month or listen to clips of the featured instrument. There’s also an online Teacher’s Guide with additional notes, a schedule of composers to be highlighted for the year, and answers to the kids’ activities.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that it’s no secret that I love moo.com. I first became aware of them when I won a business card redesign contest seven years ago. I immediately fell in love with the quality of their paper products and have used them over and over for various studio projects. Right now they are running a special 25% Off all MOO Print Products through July 25, so I’m putting together my wish list and piano studio practice incentive theme needs for next year so I can get my order in. If you’ve downloaded the free Composer Trading Game, now would be a great time to order your mini cards, too!
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Chris Owenby, founder of PracticeHabits.co, has been cranking out oodles of resources for piano teachers – from sheet music to technical exercises to helpful practice guides. He has put together a membership site that contains all of these and more. He’s offering a 30% discount for anyone who joins between now and midnight on July 21, so if you’re interested in checking out some of his creative works now is the time to do it!
If you visit the companion page for Randall and Nancy Faber’s new Piano Adventures Scale and Chord books you’ll find some free teaching videos and a download of a 20-page workbook of scale activities. A great resource that I’m filing away to use next fall!
One of the things that has been impressed on me over the years as I’ve grown in my understanding of proper piano technique is the importance of correct bench placement and height. This is often overlooked by pianists, but is essential for producing good tone quality, establishing correct hand position, and avoiding injuries. Here is a helpful page with explanations and pictures demonstrating proper bench height and posture at the piano: Proper Seating at the Piano
Also, here’s a post I wrote several years ago on Gravity, Strength, and Conduction – three areas I emphasize from the very first lesson to help students establish good technique habits.
Here’s another wonderful treasure from the draft archives. This is a simple, concise overview of scales and key signatures with easy-to-understand graphics: Scales and Key Signatures – The Method Behind the Music