Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dealing With Resistance To Learning New Music

"Resistance has no strength of it's own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer resistance."
The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield       

Practicing the piano with two granddaughters over the last two weeks has been interesting for me. They both love reviewing but there is a huge resistance to sight reading new music. What is the anatomy of that resistance? Is it fear? Do they fear note reading? Will the learning take forever?




            

   As the parent, we can smooth over the resistance by, 1) Letting our child explain what they observe on the page of new music, 2) Letting them choose how much they will learn in one sitting, 3) Giving them praise for playing slowly and carefully, and 4) Watching for the joy to arise when they master a small part of the new piece. Listening, giving choice, praising, and watching are verbs that apply to parent involvement in piano practice. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing your child play, with ease, something that seemed impossible a few days earlier.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Student Compositions

Periscope #18
Student Compositions

               " Ah....., I'm working on a little something...."


  That is how it starts out. My student has been composing and hesitantly wants me to hear it. It is simply scary to show your creative self. Here are five ways to make composing happen in  your studio.

  1. Be willing to listen
  2. Encourage them to write down their song with any kind of notation. Provide empty staff paper
  3. Be willing to help them notate on your computer during extended lesson time
  4. Encourage them to get free Finale Notepad on their home computer
  5. As you help them notate be ready to repeat theory lessons you were sure they understood

Here are two compositions which are repetitive and fun to learn. Dancing With The Stars, written by Anna when she was 10 years old,  is in Gb but once the pattern is learned the notes seem easy. Song #6 is a syncopated piece with interesting accents, written by Chris in his early teens You can find them here


        

 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me. Next week I plan discuss ways students can use their piano skills in their community.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Scale Tag


 Periscope #17
Practicing Some Breathing Exercises

Periscoping with my brother was the highlight of my week. It wasn't until after I viewed the video again that I gleaned the really important insights. 



  1. We have to bring the rhythm of one cycle together with the rhythm of another cycle.
  2.  When the cycle of breathing interferes with the cycles of playing then we get tense and we don't use our body effectively. 
  3. If we are aware of our breathing then we start the phrase with a breath and we end the phrase with a breath. Then we have two cyclic movements going together and enhancing each other.
  This week I started using this knowledge. It happened that I had overlap between two boys at their lessons who were the same age. The exercises described in the video below worked so much better with two boys. They felt less on the spot.


                                 

   Playing scale tag was really fun for them and the emphasis was on breathing and staying on the beat.

    Scale Tag
      One students breathes in and on the exhale goes down on a five finger scale. I chose going down instead of going up because it seems more intuitive with the exhale. The other student prepares by inhaling and choosing another five finger scale to exhale while going down. We played slowly, with intention. We go back and forth, from student to student, finding new scales, or playing the same ones. The next step was turning on a drum track. Now the challenge was coming in on the beat. 
   I have so much more context to work with now as I remind my students to breathe easily instead of holding their breath.


The winner of the book "Fascinations of the Human Voice" is Sara from Sara's Music Studio. It will be on the way soon.

                                                          

                      I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me. Next week I plan to introduce some student compositions and make them available to download.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Awareness of Breath While Playing The Piano

  Periscope #16
                    Talking to Ingo R. Titze, professor of voice and speech and direction of The National Institute of Voice and Speech. 

   When my brother visited conversations moved to the respiratory system and I had to access his knowledge of breathing while playing the piano. My I-Phone would only let me do five minutes segments of the twenty minute Periscope and there is some overlap from segment to segment. I hope you find the information helpful.


                                                Introductions and Setting My Intentions
    Ingo R. Titze is a scientist of the voice and has been studying the mechanics of making sound for forty years. I knew he could enlighten me on the respiratory system and wondered if we could apply his knowledge of breathing to the issues I was facing with a few students who hold their breath.

    My question: I have a student who holds his breath while playing through difficult passages. How could I help?
   Answer: "He needs to use his breath cycle to enhance what ever else he is doing. We do things in cycles almost always returning. We have to bring the rhythm of one cycle and bring it together with the rhythm of another cycle. When the cycle of breathing interferes with the cycles of playing then we get tense and we don't use our body effectively. But, if we are aware of our breathing then we start the phrase with a breath and we end the phrase with a breath. Then we have two cyclic movements going together and enhancing each other.
   Question: How short of a segment could I expect a child to work on?
   Answer: I would choose something about a second or two in length. Make that student aware that taking a breath and releasing it is really part of the playing.

                            

         Inhale before playing the passage and exhale while executing the phrase. Use other movements such as extending your arm to use the body and breath. Breath is a rhythm. Breath is not holding on to something, it is always a gradual letting go. But the timing must synchronize with what you are doing physically.
    What can we observe in regards to how they are breathing?
    Answer: Watch to see if they are regulating the amount of breath they need to play through phrases.
    Question: Should we teach breath along with introduction to legato and wrist lift?
    Answer: Yes

            


                            Discussion of how a vocal teacher could relax the student breathing

              



            Introduction of "Fascinations of The Human Voice" and invitation to use a straw to reset and relax your vocal cords. 

            


Using a simple straw 

                          



Would you like to receive a copy of "Fascinations Of The Human Voice"? 

Just make a comment below about this post. A winner will be chosen on April 28.



 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST, but next week on Monday 9:00am,  and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The New Piano Adventures App


"Nancy and Randall Faber are pleased to introduce a new mobile app that offers the convenience of a full MIDI player on your iPhone or iPad. The app provides easy access to interactive play-along accompaniments for the Piano Adventures method books—bringing an orchestra, jazz ensemble and rock band right to your mobile device. The user interface is elegantly designed, appropriate for all ages and instructional levels."

  Last week I noticed my grandson running to turn on his CD player and play along with Level One Piano Adventures. I noticed the ease he exhibited and realized he must have been using the CD for weeks. For that reason I downloaded the new I-Phone and I-Pad app to acquaint myself with this new resource. I was impressed.



I showed the interface on this week's Periscope video so check out the short You Tube segment tour below.



  Notice how easy my student makes it look. In this video he is playing many levels below his current practice, but he found it fun to sightread something easy and play along.


                    


Every level comes with three free songs and when I downloaded Level 3A I received the Lesson Book, The Performance Book, and The Artistry Book. all for $4.99 per level. Level 3A is the highest they have to offer, as of now.


                                      




 I would love to know what you think of the new app. Please leave a comment below.

 My voice scientist brother, Ingo Titze, will be Periscoping April 18, yes, that is a Monday, at 9:00am and I will be interviewing him about breath and helping pianists who are breath holders.

 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST, but next week on Monday 9:00am,  and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Clementi and A Groovy Kind Of Love

How would Clementi feel about his sonatina being A       
                                Groovy Kind Of Love?

In the last issue of Pianist I rediscovered a favorite sonatina. Opus 36 No. 5,  third movement, has a sweet melody, so sweet in fact that it become a pop song in 1960's. My student who loves Pop Music decided that this piece could meet his approval. 


          

                         
                            I can find this magazine at Barnes and Noble and it is worth the $12.99.

Pianist is the UK's bestselling magazine for people who love to play the piano. You don’t just read it – you play it too, with 40 pages of specially selected sheet music for players of all levels and all tastes.

Every issue features a FREE tutorial CD by professional pianist Chenyin Li recorded at the Royal College of Music, so you can listen, learn and play along to improve your skills.




 I am back on Periscope next Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

My famous voice scientist brother, Ingo Titze, will be Periscoping April 18, yes, that is a Monday, and I will be interviewing him about breath and helping pianists who are breath holders.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mr.Music- A Game For Learning Note Value

Periscope #13
Games For The Beginning Student 


    March brought some new students my way. So, again I pull out my trusty games, one for learning note value and for learning piano key names.
    I thought of Mr. Music when I remembered playing Mother May I as a child. The video below has a description of how to play.



Playing Name That Key came along when I needed motivation for my students to learn their key names with the musical alphabet. I play a key and they must tell me the letter name. We use tally marks to keep score from week to week. To make it challenging for myself when they play a white key for me, I shut my eyes and tell them which key they played. Now, I don't have perfect pitch but I do have relative pitch and I surprise them when I get them correct. Alas, sometimes my ear does not anchor on a pitch and to my student's delight I don't get a point. Drats! 



                          
 
 I hope these games are useful and FYI, next week I will not be Periscoping. But I will return on April 12. My famous voice scientist brother, Ingo Titze, will be Periscoping April 18, yes, that is a Monday, and I will be interviewing him about breath and helping pianists who are breath holders.




 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Improvising With The Brand New Student


                                          Periscope #12
                    Improvising With a Brand New Student


First off, here is a student who really gets in the groove with the Pop Song Improv. You can find more information here.  Isn't he great! Pardon the upside down view.



          

   You can improvise with even a beginning student. The key of Gb major works wonderfully. Your student can use any of the black notes on the keyboard. They all sound great. If they are stumped and are shy to begin, show them how to put fingers 2,3,4 on the three blacks keys and move from key to key. Encourage them to move into different octaves. As the teacher, play a slow 4/4 time arpeggiating the Gb chords. Get acquainted with the various ways to arppegiate the chords formed from the scale.




     Here I have listed the degrees of the scale, the boxed in letters are the scale names, and following the scales names are some possible notes to arpeggiate. I use a sequence that starts with Gb, the first degree of the scale, then goes down to Eb, the sixth degree of the scale, moves lower to Cb, the fourth degree of the scale, then moves up to Db, the fifth degree of the scale, and goes back home. You can also use an extended sequence with minor chords in the second degree, listed on the second row.
   Some huge benefits of improvising are:

  1. You can see how well your student feels rhythm if they fit within your accompaniment.
  2. You learn to really listen and feel the student's musical sensibility.
  3. You can help them develop a melodic ear.
  4. Improvising is relaxing and soul satisfying. 
If you watch a sample of my Periscope video, below, you can hear a story of parent feedback after listening to her child improvise with me.



                          



   If you would like to see the accompaniment to this improvisation written out, here is a sample.



Next week on Periscope I'll demonstrate a different improvisation pattern with add ons. This becomes just 5-8- minutes of my lesson time but can really energize my students.

 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Improvise An Irish Dance For St. Patrick's Day


                                          Periscope #11
                    Teach an Irish Dance for St. Patrick's Day


                My inspiration for daring to teach improvisational playing is Forrest Kinney. He has produced some wonderful books that give ideas for improv patterns in all styles of music. He magically appeared at my dinner table one evening, unexpected and unannounced, and open my eyes to the joy of creating music. Read about it here.




  So today, here is a pattern for an Irish Dance. The parameters on on the picture below and watch the Periscope video to put it together.



                           
                 
                              

Next week on Periscope I'll demonstrate a different pattern with add ons. This becomes just 5-8- minutes of my lesson time but can really energize my students.

 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Teaching Manifesto


Vulnerability is not winning or losing it is the willingness to show up when you can’t control the outcome. 
– Brene Brown

The Living Brave semester is half way through and I am processing what I know and yet don't know about showing up, especially in thew arena of being a piano teacher and musician. The arts are vulnerable places for children and adults. So often, our creativity is squelched in music and art because someone gives us the message that we aren't good enough. Here is a manifesto I wrote as an assignment for class.


My Daring Greatly Teaching Manifesto

I am most curious about what could happen in my teaching career if I stay vulnerable and continue to try new things. I desire the courage to be seen as I am, not as I would like to be, which means that my weaknesses will be visible. In my heart of hearts, I know I am a good musician and teacher. Being brave to be "back on the floor again" when I try new technology or new musical skills is how I want to dare greatly. I am most passionate about being connected to my students and inspiring them to be curious and brave.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Simple Improvisational Composition

                                            Periscope #10   

     Simple Composing, Stealing a Common Bass Line
    
Wow! This is my tenth Periscope. I am finally figuring out how to make a better video. Periscope is very improvisational. People leave comments which surprise and delight. All of the interactive part makes me less anxious to have a polished presentation. What happens, happens and it is gone in 24 hours, unless you save the video to post on the blog.

     Speaking of improv, that is my subject today. How many of your students love Heart and Soul? Why? It is a piece with a pattern, they can play it as a duet, and it has room to improvise new parts. Let's steal the baseline of Heart and Soul and compose a new piece on different difficulty levels so that most students can try this at home.

    I call this C Pop Pock. It begins with a simple LH pattern. Bass C, A, F, G, this is the part that is stollen from Heart and Soul. The right hand has some rounds (repeated chords) of a C Chord and a dropped third to a second. (CDG, CDG)




     Setting up some boundaries helps my students be successful. The LH has a boundary of the pattern C,A,F,G, but with that boundary moving notes can be added. The RH has chords with a dropped second and those chords can be inverted, and moving notes can be improvised. I have tried this with a six year old, simplifying the right hand to thirds, C and E, as well as with an adult who had many add-ons. The video explains some add on improvisations.

          

         Next week on Periscope I'll demonstrate a different pattern with add ons. This becomes just 5-8- minutes of my lesson time but can really energize my students.

 I am on Periscope on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianoprof88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Have You Ever Used A Fake Book?

                                              Periscope #9   

                               What is fake about this book?
    
   A fake book is a collection of lead sheets intended to assist a performer learn new songs. Each piece contains the melody and chords above, so that the arrangement can be improvised and you can "fake" playing the real thing.  Fake books came about when musicians needed access to piles of music and these lead sheets were photocopied and past around among musicians. Copyrights were ignored and often poorly crafted chords were added above the melody. 




   Since the 70's, books have been copyrighted and cleaned up and are available for sale. Fake books have a place for musicians who accompany. I use them to accompany a group at our local care home where I do music with seniors who love those 40's and 50's songs. We scramble every week to find music and often the guitarists only have lead sheets.  
          Many lead sheets are sold on musicnotes.comand are less expensive.



   This week on periscope I reviewed the skills involved in playing from a lead sheet. I chose a song called "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" and below you can see a few minutes of how a simple melody can become a full song. 


                           


Next week on Periscope is still undecided. I am there on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

Also check out Elizabeth Gutierrez on Periscope. She does teachings tips in 10 minutes on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am CST and I really enjoy her insights. Her handle is @pianopro88 and she has a great blog. 

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Teaching From Lead Sheets

                                             Periscope #9   

                Just learn the melody and improvise the left hand

     Have you ever used just a lead sheet to learn music? As a musician I am called upon all the time to do just that. For example, yesterday I was playing the piano as a volunteer for a group called MusicMendsMinds. We do music with those suffering from Alzheimers, early dementia, and some residents from our local Care Center. When we arrive, the musicians scramble to come up with an agenda. The guitarists only use lead sheets so they hand me the music and expect I will be able to improvise. In periscope #9 I reviewed some steps to teach from a lead sheet.




  1. Teach the right hand melody line
  2. Review the chords written above the melody as block chords
  3. For the easiest LH play only the bottom notes of the chord.
  4. Play the melody and bottom notes of chords together
  5. Try fifths in the LH
  6. Harmonize the melody by dropping some notes from the chord under the melody
  7. Play together
  8. Try a different LH, such as, waltz broken chords or arpeggiated chords.
         Faber Piano Adventures uses a lead sheet in every level of their 2nd edition lesson books.


                          

Next week on Periscope is still undecided. I am there on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teaching Pop Songs- "Hello"

Periscope #8
My video is still available on Periscope until 02/17/16 10:30 PST  

"Hello, How Are You?"

What do you do if beginning students are itching to learn a pop song? You can meet their desire by giving a partial taste or the whole enchilada using a lead sheet. These are some things I covered on my last Periscope Video.




  1. Some lead sheets are available at musicnotes.com
  2. Start with teaching the scale of the piece
  3. Teach chords and their inversions
  4. Learn the melody line




                         This can take many weeks. I use this part of the lesson like dessert. 

5. Try melody line with chords leaving out the middle note, just fifths or just a single note. 
6. If they still want more sound, try hanging the chords under the melody. The melody note must be on top so find that inversion.The harmony doesn't have to be under every melody note.
7. This is not precision playing. Allowing exploration and improv.




   
   
 Next week on Periscope is still undecided. I am there on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reviewing The App Musiclock

               Periscope #7
My video is still available on Periscope until 02/10/16 10:30 PST             

I'll play it first and tell you what it's called later. 
                                                                - Miles Davis

   I want my students to be able to improvise. I learned it myself by messing around, not from my piano teacher. I am always on the look out for tools to teach the basics of scales and chords to give context to making music. Musiclock by perTunes is one of those tools. The front page gives the scale on a staff, a wheel with the steps of the scale, a keyboard showing the keys of the scale, and an accompaniment to play along.



The possible scales cover all the basic patterns and the backing tracks are varied according to tempo.



Below my student is using the on screen keyboard to improvise a melody. When he has circled around this app week after week he should recognize how to use a scale to make up a tune and have a better sense of how to stay with the rhythm.

               

 This app gets 5 stars from me and I was not given any incentive to review this product.

 Next week on Periscope I want to share a few more learnings from the Webinar "How To teach Your Students Pop Music" by 88 Keys. I am there on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Webinar- How To Teach Pop Music To Your Students

Periscope #5

 A few highlights from the online 88 Keys Winter Webshop. The subject was How To Teach Your Students Pop Music.






  1. Make pop music accessible to any student by teaching by rote or by finding simplified arrangements.
  2. Pop Music does not have to be played note perfect.
  3. Two interesting apps that access pop music


                           Chord Tracker by Yamaha

    A free app which uses the music on your i-pod or phone to display chord progressions. My student wanted to learn a piece called War by Peter Jennison. It was not available on Musicnotes.com so I downloaded the track on my phone and opened it in Chord Tracker. I started some simple notation on a staff and then together we wrote in the melody line. He played the chords as fifths for a while until he could work on arpeggiated notes in the left hand. Most importantly he was satisfied and had learned new things about music notation and chord accompaniment.


Chromatik

Another interesting app is called Chromatik. It has many, many pop tunes to open. The fun thing is that it also has the capacity to open the You Tube video along side.That allows feedback on the rhythm issues in the piece. 






   Next week on Periscope I want to share a few things am learning about Music Clock and how I use improvising in my piano studio. I am there on Tuesdays at 10:30 PST and my screen name is GabriB. I hope you will visit me.

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Last Days Before A Recital

Periscope #4
     
Before The Recital

These are some things I covered in the Periscope video on January 26, 2016


  1. Encouraging all students to perform 
  2. How do we over come performance anxiety?
  3. My audience participation piece
  4. My own piece at the recital
The week before recital time can be tough for the unprepared and even for those who have  prepared well. There are countless distractions to throw off our focus. Often the rehearsal before is miserable and then the performance goes off without a hitch.



     I don't have an easy answer to making performing simple. I do, however, know that the more we perform the easier it gets. I take each student into a rehearsal in the venue where we will perform and give them time to get familiar. I like knowing how the piano will work and how the sound blooms. This year we will have another audience participation piece performed by a student. This brings a relaxed atmosphere into the room, helping everyone feel involved. Below is a video by Wendy Stevens who wrote this piece.




   Should a teacher perform at her own recital? I think so. I feel the example of being a constant learner is important. When I anguish over my piece it also helps me be empathetic to the concerns my students have. This year I'm playing Star Dust by Elena Cobb. Below is a video of a beautiful performer who captures the piece expertly. To be honest, I played it on Periscope but the distraction of the video ruined my concentration and I erased the whole video. 





   Next week on Periscope I want to share a few things I learned at a online 88 Keys Winter Webshop this weekend. The subject was How To Teach Your Students Pop Music.

     Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.

                                                                   

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Recitals In January?

Periscope #3

Recitals In My Studio


These are the ideas I covered in the short Periscope video I did Tuesday January 19, 2016. :
  1. Time of year I hold my recitals
  2. Audience participation
  3. Playing a piece myself at the recital


  Yes, I have a recital in January, not in December, when everyone is pulled in so many directions but in January, the end of January. That gives us a whole month to prepare. 

As I have done in the past, I like to have at least one audience participation piece. This year I am drawing from Wendy Stevens, Composecreate.com, and using Yee Haw, a lively beginning piece. The two students preparing this piece thought it looked easy but the rests are tricky. They both struggled at first but when I saw them the next week they had it together. I have not decided if I will have the audience clap or if I will hand out wooden sticks to some of the audience. . 






I play myself at every recital. After more than a hundred recitals what do I play this year?  Well, I happened upon the Dec./Jan. edition of the magazine "The Pianist". The 30 pages of free music is always attractive to me. Stardust by Elena Cobb is just right for my performance. Late intermediate difficulty so it allows me some leeway in preparation time and insuring I will have a polished piece. I played the first page on the Periscope video and promised to play the whole thing next Tuesday morning at 10:30 PST. Come join me!


Periscope is a free app by the Twitter company that allows you to broadcast all over the world. There is no time limit. Viewers can participate by typing messages and questions and by sending hearts for content they like. The recorded broadcast is viewable for 24 hours after airing.