March 20, 2018

Some Suggestions for Shaking up Your Scales

As we have discussed many times on the blog and as we constantly teach and reiterate in the classroom, scales are far more than just a series of notes. Scales are the foundation of music. Practicing them then is something that is not just important, but necessary. But practicing does not have to be boring…[READ MORE]

March 2, 2018

Keeping Your Scales at Your Fingertips

Many of our students that have been with us for a while have learned quite a significant number of scales. 48 foundational scales (12 major, minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor), five additional modes x 12, and the blues scale alone makes 120 scales! We need to practice them all. We need to know them….[READ MORE]

June 20, 2017

A Five Minute Practice Routine

This practice routine is for the student that may be unlikely to even sit at the piano or take out their instrument. Have you ever had a child that just doesn’t want to practice at all? I have used this with a handful of students, and some actually do it! And it works if they…[READ MORE]

June 15, 2017

How to Develop a Practice Routine Continued, with Example Routine B

Here is another practice routine example. Again, this is just an example. This one is for students that may not be willing to practice four days a week, or maybe they are super busy and finding three days is a challenge. This is still 45 minutes of practice in a week! A lot can be…[READ MORE]

June 6, 2017

Re-blog from Jeffry on Metronomes

Here is an important and helpful word on metronomes from Jeffry. For those looking for some serious practice for more advanced metronome work, Sean Driscoll has some great tips here.  

June 3, 2017

How to Develop a Practice Routine Continued, with Example Routine A

                  In my last post I offered some starting questions for developing a practice routine. Now I continue the discussion with some practical example suggestions. In this example routine I will be working from the idea that this is a working plan for a beginning level piano…[READ MORE]

June 1, 2017

How to Develop or Plan a Practice Routine

I have been asked from time to time how to develop or plan a practice routine. There are numerous ways to develop a practice routine of course, and they will vary for each individual student depending on where they are in their musical journey, how many days a week they practice, and how long they…[READ MORE]

August 8, 2016

The Music Student’s Notebook

This notebook has been around a while. I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in 1993, and in the fall semester I was assigned my first private trumpet teacher, Jeff Stout. As you can see, I still have the notebook! And there are all kinds of important notes, exercises, and musical pieces in there. I…[READ MORE]

June 18, 2016

Rhythm Practice

Friends, I wanted to send out a brief note of reminder that we are officially on break until July 5th. This means NO lessons or classes this coming week, or the next. Also, I wanted to continue offering some suggestions on summer practice. Early this week I sent this out on summer shedding (shedding is…[READ MORE]

June 13, 2016

Summer Shedding

The summer is a great time to practice! Students don’t usually have as many responsibilities and often can spend too much time bored, watching TV, playing video games—all kinds of things which are fine in moderation, but certainly not very productive. Especially for homeschool students that may only get music in class once a week,…[READ MORE]