Yiyi Ku

Yiyi Ku

Yiyi Ku is a pianist and teacher. Born in Taiwan, she grew up in New Zealand and obtained her Master of Music degree with Distinction in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Canterbury. Yiyi also holds a Licentiate in Piano Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano from Music Teachers National Association and American College of Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers. Yiyi currently lives with her husband and two dogs in Murrieta, California. She has maintained a busy private studio for many years, and enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels.

Dear MTH blog readers,

 

It is back-to-school time! Have you started your Fall lesson schedule yet? Are you having headaches trying to fit everyone into their desired time slots?

What new ideas do you have this year to motivate your students? A while ago I came across the idea of “Practice Beads” on The Art of Piano Pedagogy Facebook group. Well, here is my version, and I call it “Practice PomPoms”.

I got the pompoms and chenille stems from Orientaltrading.com (treasure trove for teachers!) and the document clips from OfficeDepot (MTNA members get a really good discount!).

The way it works is that the student moves a pompom up or down after each practice. This helps them to keep track of how many times they have practiced their homework assignments. The number of pompoms on the stem depends on how old the student is.

Of course we all know the quality of the practice is far more important than the quantity, but for beginners, this helps them to establish a routine and build a habit of practicing.

If you have any back-to-school ideas, please share!

Happy Teaching!

Read More

Dear MTH blog readers,

It has been a while since I last posted! I hope you have all been well. You may remember from one of my previous posts that I had a baby (which is why I have not been able to keep up with my blogging!) Well she is 20 months old now!

Anyway, I am still teaching, and I wanted to share with you one of my studio secrets. It is called the Music Teachers National Association Music Achievement Award Program.

What is it?

“The purpose of MTNA’s Music Achievement Award Program is to help encourage ALL the students in the teacher’s studio, especially the “everyday” students, to continue their music study and to strive to achieve goals that will not only help them become better musicians, but also will enhance their love and appreciation of music.

The teacher sets goals that are both realistic and attainable for each individual student according to the student’s needs, ability and motivational level.

The student achieves the goals over a specified period of time.” – MTNA Member Resources

I have been doing this program for the last couple years. Basically every student in my studio participates in it. If you are a member of MTNA, there is detailed instruction on how to implement the program in the Members-Only area of the website. The beauty of the program is that the teacher can tailor the program to suit each individual student. Some students may complete as few as one goal, while others may complete as many goals/events as the teacher’s studio offers.

Here is my studio’s goals/events list for the past year:

For the beginner students, the goals can include completing a method book, listening assignments, and even attending live concerts. MTNA provides a very detailed list of suggestions for goals.

At our annual studio recital, I award the students that have completed their program with a trophy. Here is what this year’s trophy looks like:

Having this program in place really motivates my students to work hard throughout the year. It also saves me time as I plan the program at the beginning of the school year for each student, and at each lesson we can see clearly what is our upcoming goal and what repertoire we need to focus on.

This is only one of the many benefits of joining MTNA. If you are not yet a member, now is time to join before the next school year starts!

Here is wishing everyone a great summer!

 

Read More

imageThe school year is coming to an end, and it is once again time to host my annual studio recital. I used to organize two studio recitals every year, once in December (called Holiday Recital) and once in June (Summer Recital). The Holiday recital became more and more difficult to schedule around everyone’s holiday plans, and now with a new baby, I decided to just do one big recital in June to celebrate the students’ achievements throughout the year. I now call it Annual Studio Recital and Awards Ceremony.

We all know how much time and effort can go into organizing these studio recitals, from renting the venue, scheduling students, to making programs, preparing refreshments, ordering awards…the list goes on and on. Ever since my first studio recital many years ago, I came up with the idea of making postcard invitations to give to the students so they can invite friends and family to come. This has proved to be an excellent investment for my time and effort, as the students hand these out at school to their classmates, and I have gotten new students as a result 🙂

This year, I am doing something extra to further promote my studio recital. I made a movie trailer!

Here is how I did it:

1. I use my iPad.

2. Open iMovie app (free download at Apple Store).

3. Click on the “+” sign to create new project.

4. Select “Trailer”.

5. Choose a theme (I chose Coming of Age).

6. Click “Create” (top right hand corner).

7. Fill out the form under “Outline” (This is the movie credits page).

8. Click on “Storyboard” (next to Outline).

9. Choose pictures/videos stored on your iPad and insert in each box. You can customize the wording to go with the pictures.

10. Done! You can save your new movie trailer on your iPad, email to students, and upload to Facebook and YouTube!

Hope everyone’s studio recital goes well!

Read More