Category Archives for General music tips

Rhythm Guessing Game

Perhaps I have been watching a little too much Sesame Street with my children… In this video, we play a rhythm “guessing game”, where a rhythm is spoken, and the student “guesses” where a certain rhythmic element is.  It’s a listening exercise.  Watch this video with your student or child… There are many applications for […]

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The music of life

Music is everywhere.  We hear it all the time, but finding it is the challenge.  Music is defined by thefreedictionary.com as mu·sic ( n.) 1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. 2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing […]

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Rhythm Solfege verses Counting

This post is in answer to a question from Sarah from the post “rhythm blocks”.  Sarah asks: “Do you think this (rhythm solfege) may be better than teaching them ‘semibreve has 4 counts. minim has 2 counts, etc and having them clap the counts?” My short answer, and this is only my opinion, is that it […]

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Of learning to talk before you can read

Today I read a forum post from a proponent of Simply Music.  She talked about how hard and somewhat unnatural the current methods of piano teaching can be for the student.  Yes, it is important to learn how to read music, but a young child who sits at the piano is less interested in learning […]

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Practice makes hard things easy…

“I can’t do it!”“It’s too hard.”“I don’t like this song.”“Are we done yet?” These words have been uttered in some form or another since the dawn of music.  I have heard them!  I remember uttering them.  It happens, no matter how fantastic a teacher you are, or how talented and naturally motivated the child may […]

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The importance of ear training

Unfortunately, I was not introduced to aural skills through independent study until I was in college. I wanted better for my students, and have regularly included 2-5 minutes of aural training in my lessons with them. Here is an ear training manipulative that I created for my students.  It is simply two large measures for […]

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Practice time logs

That which can be monitored can be improved. I have found in my teaching that when my students have been struggling with a song for a few weeks, we always come to the inevitable question: “How much have you been practicing?” Yes, that’s what I thought.I am so grateful that my piano teacher consistently asked […]

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