Why Bi-weekly Lessons Don’t Work

 

7 reasons why bi-weekly lessons do not work…

 

Now and then, our studio gets asked if we offer bi-weekly lessons. I mean, doesn’t it make sense that if you take lessons every other week, you have half the number of trips into the studio, you have double the amount of time to practice, and you can save some money, right?

WRONG.

Aside from the fact that it is a scheduling nightmare for the teacher and studio, I want to outline a few reasons why (in most cases) bi-weekly lessons do not work.

Source: Bi-weekly Lessons – Why they won’t work – The Piano Studio

Is Your Tune Piano in Tune?

piano-tuning

 

When it comes to tuning, every piano is different, even two pianos of the same style and make are different, and the humidity of the room makes a big difference, he said.

High humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.

In Minnesota, humidity can easily range from 80 percent in the summertime to 10-15 percent in the winter, if the home doesn’t have a humidifier. Wood-heated homes tend to be especially dry, he said.

“Pianos like it between 40 and 50 percent humidity in the house,” he said.

Even places that are supposedly “climate-controlled,” aren’t always. The heat might get turned down substantially evenings and weekends, for example.

A new piano needs a few weeks to settle into its new home before tuning, Fry said.

“If they get a new piano, generally they call us the day before it gets in the house,” he said. “It should sit in the house a couple weeks just to acclimatize it to its new surroundings … brand new pianos stretch for a while. They go out of tune quicker. The wire stretches and they settle into themselves.”

Some people think they have to let a new, or recently moved older piano, sit six months or a year before it gets tuned. That’s not true, Fry said, but it does need a few weeks.

He recommends that pianos be tuned at least once a year (he tunes his own piano once a year, even though he no longer gives lessons) and the busiest time for him is before the holidays — September through December.

“Piano-tuning is something people can put off,” he said. “We noticed a real drop in tuning when gas got over $3 a gallon. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.”

Fry said he is looking for some kind of work to do in the summertime when his other businesses are slow.

He doesn’t give piano or guitar lessons anymore, but does enjoy tuning all types of pianos.

“It takes me a couple of hours. I have time,” Fry said. “I’m going to do the job that I like to do, and do it right.”

Read the entire article at Keeping pianos, life in tune | Detroit Lakes Online.

All About Music Theory

theory

 

As all my students know, I teach theory with all piano and organ lessons.  Sometimes, it’s from a theory book that matches a lesson book, sometimes on the fly on an “as needed” basis.

This book looks like it would be interesting to use as a review or to look ahead and see what’s coming.  I have just ordered a copy for the studio if you want to check it out at the next lesson.

From amazon.com:

 If you wish there was a fun and engaging way to help you understand the fundamentals of music, then this is it. Whether it’s learning to read music, understanding chords and scales, musical forms, or improvising and composing, this enjoyable guide will help you to finally start understanding the structure and design of music.

This fun-filled, easy-to-use guide includes:
* Music notation
* Scales and modes
* Melody harmonization and counterpoint
* Chord progressions
* Song form and structure

Listen and learn with the CD that has 90 tracks, including over 50 popular songs such as:
* Beauty and the Beast
* Candle in the Wind
* Imagine
* In the Air Tonight
* Killing Me Softly with His Song
* Let It Be
* Message in a Bottle
* Misty
* Satin Doll
* Take the ‘A’ Train
* Unchained Melody
* What’d I Say
* and more!

maryOivoryandroses

Piano Maestro Parent’s Guide

Piano Mania

 

It will be fun watching your child improve their piano skills all while having fun using Piano Maestro in lessons each week!

As your child’s teacher (or YOUR teacher!), I’m looking forward to seeing the progress they will make when they start using it at home each day. This guide will help you understand how this app will benefit your child and how to get it set up on your own iPad.

Overview
What is Piano Maestro?

Piano Maestro is the ultimate piano practice tool that will have students quickly playing their favorite classical, pop, rock, TV and video game songs and themes. It is available in the App Store and works on the iPad.

What skills does it improve?
• Note reading
• Sight reading
• Rhythm
• Inner pulse
• Confidence

What makes it so fun?
• Upbeat background tracks
• Stunning graphics
• Instant rewards and feedback
• Satisfaction of playing REAL music

It works with an acoustic piano?

Yes! Your child practices on your real acoustic or digital piano. Piano Maestro listens from the iPad’s built-in microphone. No wires needed.

I’m already paying for lessons. What value does this add?

Sometimes I wish I could be there with your child to encourage them to keep practicing daily. I’m sure it’s not always easy, as unforeseen challenges will arise.

Since our time each week is just too short, this app will give me eyes on the ground and it will keep them practicing longer and improving more quickly.

How will it be used in lessons?

I will spend a few minutes of each lesson helping your child master a couple of new songs all while having fun! I will also teach them how to use the practice options at home.

At the end of the lesson, we will choose Home Challenge assignments within the app that will show up in your account at home. I’ll get updates when progress is made.

 

 

Getting Started
Wow, this sounds awesome. Now, how do I get started?

1) Download Piano Maestro on your iPad from the AppStore
2) Create a JoyTunes account with a parent’s email, under which, you can have multiple profiles for each member of the family.
3) Create a profile for each family member (that means you too Mom and Dad!) inside the Parent/Teacher zone (top right-hand corner of the main screen)
4) Connect to your teacher, me! After creating a profile in the “profiles” tab of the parent/teacher zone, select the student’s profile and click “connect to teacher.” Once I approve the connection to your child, they will receive full access to all content for FREE! I will then also begin receiving weekly progress reports.
5) Start Playing – I will now start assigning you homework, meanwhile, get started on Journey Mode.

When you connect to the O’Connor Music Studio, Piano Maestro is free for as long as you study here.

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Eight

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 8. The Timekeeper: Some of the O’Connor Music Studio students are using Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Timed Note Reading Tests For Piano, so their parents can be the timekeeper when it is time for their daily note reading practice.

Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Timed Note Reading Tests For Piano, Book 1: 90 Days Of Exercises In Middle C Position And C Position

and

Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Timed Note Reading Tests For Piano, Book 2: 95 Days Of Exercises In Treble C Position And G Position

 

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Seven

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 7. The Concert Promoter: As a parent myself, I know that showing off our kids comes naturally. For this reason, proactive parents can take on the role of home practice concert promoter. This job involves getting their children to perform when friends, grandparents, and aunts and uncles come over for a visit, or sending videos and initiating FaceTime performances.

 

 

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Six

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 6. The Piano Studio Janitor: Parents are the ultimate, and original, janitors. While it is important that students learn to organize their own practice spaces, if parents are looking for a simple task to get involved in practice sessions, getting the home piano space in order before each practice session can be very helpful.

 

 

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Five

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 5. The Youtube Liaison: As students get older, it can get harder for piano parents to be active in the home practice process. By transitioning from an authoritative role to an assistant role, parents can be supportive by performing simple tasks such as searching out quality Youtube performances of pieces their children are playing. It can be a really useful experience for teen piano players to see and hear performances of the pieces they are about to play.

 

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Four

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 4. The Lead Vocalist: Most people are not too comfortable with breaking out into song in public, but they will happily sing in front of their own children. Parents of your littlest piano students should be encouraged to sing along with song lyrics. Just make sure that the sing-alongs happen with songs their children already know quite well. Sing-alongs do not work when a song is first being learned.