Blog

  • Mini me
    Music has a powerful effect on our brain through intellectual and emotional stimulation, but it can be an abstract subject to study. Children learn well through play and movement, and we know that adding a bit of humour while teaching a new concept enhances retention. Over the years, I have collected and created many manipulatives to provide tangible representations of musical concepts. Some items are my own creation, but many are brilliant ideas that come…
  • We are live and on the air in 3, 2, 1
    It takes a lot to teach online. Every single thing I do in a typical lesson has had to be adapted for working remotely. Procedures have changed. My teaching space and office has been rearranged more times than I can count to improve work flow and ergonomics. All my handouts and music scores are in the process of being converted to digital formats. And now, add on the very important tasks of keeping up with…
  • For such a time as this
    The photo in this post is the studio deadline whiteboard from March to the end of the season. Today I completed my very last task of this season – reviewing a student’s performance exam video submission. I am also right in the middle of planning the upcoming season. This is the time when I reflect, evaluate, and plan. But who knew we needed to plan for a pandemic?! In mid-March I made the decision that…
  • Wow! (or how to get good at piano)
    A few weeks ago, two different piano parents asked me if I noticed anything different about their child at the most recent lesson. My response was, “Yes! Wow! What happened?!” The parents’ answer was, “I helped my child get to the piano every day this week.” Success in piano is very much dependent on three things – the teacher, the student, and the parents. Typically a teacher and student only spend about an hour together each…
  • Congratulations!
    Congratulations to my student Linda T. on winning an ORMTA-Ottawa Scholarship for her excellent mark in Keyboard Harmony 9!
  • Congratulations!
    Congratulations to my student Sarah Daly for winning a Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for the highest mark in Ontario in Intermediate Piano Pedagogy! Sarah worked very hard over several years to complete all her Level 10 piano and theory requirements, as well as prepare for all her teacher exams. Well done!
  • This One Sits Just Right
    You know the story of Goldilocks – Papa Bear’s chair was too big, Mama Bear’s chair was too big, but Baby Bear’s was just right. I have several young students who are still pint-sized. But the scale of a piano fits a full-sized adult. And how we sit at the piano greatly affects our sound and how our hand/wrist/arm technique develops. Teaching tiny fingers how to play without tension is very difficult when they struggle…
  • Tales of a Musical Journey
    People sometimes ask me if I still take beginners. I suppose they are wondering if, with the number of advanced students in my studio, I would still be interested in working with a beginner.┬áThe answer is, I do! In fact, I think a beginning student should find the very best teacher they can (within their budget, of course).┬áSince I teach all levels, I can really see when and where fundamental concepts should be studied to…

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