Have you ever had a student come into their lesson thrilled to show you the new song that their friend just taught them? Only to discover that it’s at the top of every piano teacher’s list of Most Disliked Songs? You know which one I’m talking about, don’t you? Yup. Heart and Soul. But, as much as you might want to plug your ears and scream the next time you hear it, the reality is that students love playing it! Plus, it can serve as the perfect tool for learning to improvise freely using the chord progression in it. In this video Claire demonstrates the Heart and Soul remix she came up with just for fun:
I love it when my students put their creative juices to work to come up with something innovative! Check out this new musical symbol that Stephanie devised:
As I’ve attended music teacher workshops and conferences over the years, one of the highlights has always been attending master classes. I love watching other teachers interact with students and gleaning insights that I can utilize in my own teaching. Musaic – an initiative of New World Symphony – seeks to bring masterclasses and dozens of other videos from professional musicians right to your fingertips! In addition to masterclasses, you can view a growing collection of performances, tips, and how-to videos that will prove beneficial to music teachers and students alike. What a great project!
One of the things that I love about teaching piano is the challenge of figuring out how to integrate every part of the student’s learning so that they understand concepts in a relevant way. One of the ways this can be done very effectively is through structured improvisation assignments.
If you’ve been a reader on Music Matters Blog for any length of time you know that I’m a huge fan of Pattern Play as the most effective approach I’ve found to truly teaching improvisation at the piano. But now that most of my students (and I!) have become more comfortable improvising, we create a variety of assignments from week to week that utilize improvising as a way to help students cement various musical concepts.
Right now Mercy is learning chord inversions as part of her Theory and Technique section in our C2 practice incentive theme, so this was the short piece she improv-ed using a c-minor chord and inversions:
It’s amazing how much more exciting and relevant theory concepts are when you see them become a creative expression like this!
After a long hiatus, I’m excited to be back to posting on Music Matters Blog (though I anticipate it will be much more sporadic than before!). The New Year is in full swing, and I’m thrilled to be entering it with an incredible husband, four wonderful children, a studio full of amazing families, and an awesome support network of family, friends, and colleagues! I have lots of ideas and thoughts to post in the coming days, but for now, I thought I’d share a few videos with you:
Christmas Recital 2013 – There is a Redeemer
Julian’s and My Wedding Video
A Shorter Version with the Highlights from Our Wedding
Our Story (the video that we showed at the beginning of our wedding)
Happy New Year to all of you! I’d love to hear about your plans for the year and any special new things you are doing in your studios!
Collaborative music at its finest!
Thanks to my friend and colleague, Judy, for sending me this fun and inspiring video!
After posting about Beth’s studio trailer last week, I thought it would be great to start a category in the Community section of Music Matters Blog for Studio Trailers. I already added one additional [super cool!] one from Jennifer Foxx about her studio practice incentive theme last year. If you have one you’d like to add to our collection, just send an e-mail to our Community Manager, Julia, and we’ll get it added!
So…this really makes me want to create a studio trailer, too. Has anyone else created a trailer for their studio? If so, I would love to see it! If you send me a link to it, I think it would be cool to create a compilation of studio trailers!
Who says the masses don’t love classical music?