Learning and practicing scales at the keyboard can be relatively easy and enjoyable with the aid of some simple visual aids. Yet music students often feel daunted with the learning of scales, chords and arpeggios, thinking that they are either difficult, unnecessary, time-consuming or irrelevant.
Difficulties for students are most often seen when first trying to cross fingers over/under for piano scales and especially when playing both hands together, trying to remember which fingers to use and which white/black notes and more.
Practising scales plays an essential part in developing skills with the sense of key and pattern acquired through familiarity, speeding up the learning of new pieces, developing aural awareness and increasing familiarity with the geography of the instrument.
From my perspective and personal background, I have always felt that scales, chords and arpeggios are very important for finger dexterity and a better understanding of analysis of musical compositions, particularly with regard to modern music. Yet some teachers put technical exercises somewhat in Read more…
Performance is always the desired outcome of practice and music lessons, and yet music teachers typically spend only a small proportion of their time with students on the practice of performance itself.
We ‘perform’ in a sense whenever we play of course, and in this respect running through your pieces for your teacher, or for family and friends, can help musicians to begin to see the full shape of a piece. But bringing the piece off as a complete idea – an idea that bears your unique interpretive stamp as a musician – is something else entirely.
Few pedagogical avenues exist that can replicate performance sufficiently well to allow for development in this area. In this short blog series, of which this is the second instalment, I’m focusing on one such avenue: the masterclass.
The masterclass, in which a student performs a piece in front of a live audience and is then coached on it in an intensive session with an expert performer, is the best possible environment in which to nurture your students’ ability to imagine their own performance and to deliver it with confidence and heart to their audience. Read more…
Music Teacher’s Helper turns 10 years old this year. You can read more about our company’s journey in this blog post. Over the next two weeks you can win some great giveaways with two different contests. Read more…
Using MTH Creatively VII – The Ever Changing Schedule
Creating the yearly schedule seem like a daunting task – can become your worst enemy!
Luckily for those instructors putting together their yearly calendar; once you have your MTH calendar complete you may sit back and relax! Getting to that point is the challenge many instructors dread. Read more…
Using Various Technologies to Provide Play-Along Recordings to Students
One of the things I feel very strongly about as a music teacher is developing the student’s ear – early, and often. I’m not just referring to the ear training exercises that most of us probably employ, but also using recorded examples at every possible opportunity.
I could write an entire post on why I believe this is so critical to the student’s success, and why I think audio examples and play-along recordings should be used constantly from the very beginning. For now, I’ll assume that most of you are already on board with this idea, and perhaps just need some ideas for HOW to provide recordings to students. Read more…
This is part three of my series about interesting ways I use Music Teacher Helper in my studio not always per the software itself.
Keeping track of miscellaneous fees = Headaches
If your studio is like mine, you offer to purchase books and materials for your students. Not only is this a nice service to the customer but it assures that students will have the correct supplies when needed.
My October 2013 blog post discussed ways to earn extra income by offering supplies for the students.
Keeping track of all theses book and miscellaneous charges is, quite frankly, a pain. First you have to remember to get payment from the student. That job is made easier by adding the fees on MTH, however it is up to you to remember to actually add the fee. How many times do you go through your bookkeeping and realize a charge you paid was not transferred to the student for which the purchase was made? Read more…
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