This week we were honored to have Mr. Peter Becker come to our studio! Peter is a friend, colleague and piano expert who I met ten years ago in Pennsylvania! Our students and families were treated to an Anatomy of the Piano Class taught by Peter. During this class, Peter took my grand piano apart and taught everyone about how it works and how pianos are made. As you can see from the photos, the action of my piano is lying on my floor! Students were able to hold piano pieces and parts throughout the class while asking their many questions. I truly enjoyed watching all of our guests of all ages as there were many jaws that were dropped and eyes that were lit up! I have been in several of these classes, yet I always learn a little more each time. Peter asked our students some pretty tough questions and I can proudly say that our students know their music! When Peter played various intervals on the piano (when it was back together) our kids were able to recognize all of them correctly. My husband and I had dinner with Peter after the class while Peter was still talking about how our students' impressed him. Thank you Peter and thank you Note-worthy Experiences for a terrific evening of fun and learning!
Please join me in a huge round of applause for Miss Frankie! Frankie recently completed her Primer Level Piano Adventures Series! She has already started to work out of her Level 1 Books! Blue is her favorite color. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are her favorite food! "My Invention" was her favorite piece to work on. When Frankie is not playing the piano, she enjoys watching television, especially Leap Force. Frankie also enjoys playing in the playroom, reading, field hockey, hip hop dance class and soccer. When Frankie is older she would like to become an animal doctor. Congratulations Frankie!
Please join me in a giant round applause for Miss Kaylan! Kaylan recently completed the blue Piano Adventures Level 2A Series. "Fur Elise" is her current favorite piece to play on the piano. The rainbow is her favorite color(s) as she does not like black, white or gray! Milk chocolate is her favorite food (which is the number 1 reason she and I are friends). Kaylan loves every subject in school. Kaylan also enjoys softball, swimming, reading drawing and Fitbit challenges (even with me)! When she is older, she would like to become a 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade teacher. Congratulations Kaylan!
Some of you may have noticed a unique homework assignment lately. Some of you may have noticed that I have Playdough as a prize kids can earn in my "piano of prizes". If you have noticed this, you have probably written it off as something wacky and silly.
The idea is indeed wacky! Yet, there is a purpose behind it all!
In our high tech, fast paced world many people believe that today's children have excellent fine motor skills as a side effect of all of the touch screen technology they use. Most children use their thumbs and pointer fingers for their touch screens. In working with a musical instrument, musicians use ALL of their fingers. We as music instructors, want our students to be able to move their fingers independently and with ease. Our bodies are designed with weaker middle and ring fingers which makes playing the piano with an even tone challenging.
I have had the honor of working with many students over the years who can understand music concepts beyond what their fingers allow them to play. I have added many exercises from books such as Finger Power, Dozen in a Day and Hanon. Yet, manipulating modeling clay, "Playdough", "Silly Putty", "Thinking Putty", etc. can help students beyond what a method exercise book can do.
So the next time your student is not so excited about practicing his or her traditional lesson assignments, set out some clay or putty and see if that can motivate those fingers to move!
I have said it before and I will say it again...
The internet has changed the way I teach. Below is a example of why I love the internet. After one simple search, I found countless ways to make music lessons more fun for kids! Click on this link to print these colorful sheets for your students too!
Congratulations to Evie! She recently completed her Level 1 Red Books and has started her Level 2B Piano Adventures Series! "The Bubble" was her favorite piece to play from these books. Her favorite colors are black and white. She LOVES Dalmatians and her favorite foods are Dalmatian Cupcakes! Her favorite activities are art, crafts, girl scouts, baking, swimming and playing with her dog. When she is older she would like to become a mom.
Congratulations to Clark! He recently completed his Blue Piano Adventures Series and is working on the Orange 2B Series! Clark is also a student in our 6 Week Theory Workshop. "My Favorite Things" and "Dance of the Irish" were his two favorite pieces to work on this year. Purple and blue are his favorite colors while hot dogs are his favorite food! When Clark is older he would like to become a chemical engineer. His favorite activities include arts and crafts, eating, playing ipad games, scouts, swim team and making Mrs. Bordner laugh during lessons. Math is Clark's favorite subject in school.