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Are you ready to make some music and have some fun?   Let's clap for one minute at the start, that's right 60 seconds.  Clap at a medium pace and not to hard with your hands. Then clap 4 times, 3 times, 2 times and finally 1 time. Do this a second time counting out loud 1 2 3 4   1 2 3   1 2   1 Then shake both hands for 5 seconds, rub them together and finally blow on them as if you are trying to warm them up. These simple exercises help us see what type of focus and energy that we have for our 30, 45  or 60 minute lesson. Plus we are warming up our hands and giving our selves a round of applause even before we start. Plus 4 times a day just give your self a round of applause. It  will help remind you to stay focused on being positive.   Before we get started let's ask ourselves if all systems are go? Are we feeling okay, are we sleepy, are hungry, do have to rush the lesson for some reason? For... read more

Balancing piano students' scope and sequence is essential to a well-rounded musician. Of course, the first step is hand position, note-reading, and identifying rhythms. With young students, much can be learned by rote (copy-cat exercises with the teacher). By 8 or 9, note-reading is primary for the student to sense advancement. Most piano methods out there will do this: Alfred, Bastien, John Thompson are my favorites.   The second step is to develop techniques. Learning scales in 5-finger patterns, octaves, then double octaves, first major and then minor. Hanon and Czerny I have used. Hanon is geared for younger ones. These can also be taught by rote. Either way, memorization to disconnect the student from paper and connect them to what their fingers and hands are doing is key.   The third step, done at the same time as technique, is applying that technique to actual repertoire. There are many compositions which are simple: Bach, Mozart, and Beethovan, so... read more

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