Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Practicing for Online Lessons

A while ago, I blogged about online lessons wondering if they were for the birds.  Since then I’vephoto-2 begun my online training with Bradley Sowash in pursuit of playing in various styles beyond the page. Some may call what I’m learning “Jazz” but it’s more than that. Jazz is not just a style of music but a uniquely American approach to creating music which can be applied to any style.

In an effort to journal my progress I usually record myself showing my best efforts AFTER I’ve practiced and perfected my improvisation assignment from Bradley. He continues to challenge me with his online, methodical and expert instruction. With limited time to practice, I decided I’d come clean and let you in on the photo-3somewhat messy process BEFORE “perfection” or let’s say “close to perfection” occurs.

What you’ll see in the video below shows how I tolerated cleaning my bathroom–not my favorite chore–by allowing myself periodic breaks to practice. Come to think of it, this would be a good way to encourage my students to practice. Parents could offer two options: practice or clean a bathroom!

Alas, I digress…back to my online lesson experience and the video below. What you will observe in the clip are steps to building my creative photo-2skills. During the well-crafted lessons, Bradley isolates the various tasks an improviser must achieve. It is my goal to not only master each one but also to combine them into something that sounds fresh, uniquely mine and of course, somewhat pleasing.

Here’s your birds-eye view of my practicing thanks to my latest iPad accessory called the Manos Mount. This universal mount screws on to a mic stand and holds any size tablet. I’m in love to say the least. In the pic below you’ll notice I can keep my iPad case on while using the mount. Click here to read my review.

Interested in taking a chance on your creative potential?  I highly recommend studying with Bradley (click here to sign up.) If you have an aversion to online lessons, take advantage of the camps he and I are offering this summer. Check out and learn the details about our two camp locations: Ohio and Denver.


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  1. Sandy

    I really hope I can come to your camp this summer. Thanks for keeping this type of piano learning in front of us so we can expand and grow and meet the ever changing needs of our student population.

  2. Leila Viss

    Thanks for your insight and support of this timely topic, Sandy. It would be so fun to meet you in person this summer. You are only a mountain top away from our camp! 🙂

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