How Can I Get My Student to Practice?
By: Jessica Petrus Aird
I'll let you in on a secret: I was absolutely one of these kids. Each week, my mom would drag me to my piano lesson, where my teacher would glare at me in disappointment because, again, I didn't practice. Maybe one song really spoke to me, and I got good at that one. But the scales, technique exercises, and that really challenging one? Often, no.
I understand her approach; she had a disciplined method that worked for many of her students and she stuck by it. Unfortunately, I was just one of those kids with which it didn't really work. I needed a more emotional and creative approach; I needed to first love the music I was playing. I was not really a "10 minutes a day, every day" kind of kid; I did better with less structure. I would go days without practicing (worrying my mother endlessly), but then spend an hour listening, singing, and playing dress-up to all kinds of music in our CD collection. As much as it probably drove my parents crazy, I'm grateful they let me find my own way in piano through various creative expressions. It was through these processes I found the spark to love some of my songs in piano and want to play them.
As you can guess, finding that spark in students can be a real challenge sometimes. My work in private teaching has shown me that the best way to help kids develop a healthy practice habit is to first identify what motivates them naturally. This is where parents' input is invaluable to me. Does your student really enjoy movement? Singing? Patterns? Problem solving? Poetry? Composing? Something else? Let's find a way to build on those natural motivators in their music learning! Below are some ideas.
Find your student's motivators!
All of these motivators can help tap into your student's natural love for learning, which can translate into good piano practice habits. Knowing what makes your student 'tick' is a great first step.
Jessica is a voice and piano instructor for Note-worthy Experiences. To learn more about Jess, please visit her Teacher Page.
What is the Winter Recital?
By: Rachel Stroia
Note-worthy has hosted an annual winter recital for the past eleven years, since the studio began in 2007. The first recital was a small affair in a local church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Eight students performed. Last year, the studio hosted four recitals in one day to accommodate the over 150 students that performed. The Winter recital is the climax of the studio's year, not only because it showcases the skills and hard work of the students, but because it brings the studio together. Students meet other students of their teachers. Teachers meet and network with other teachers. Parents meet other studio parents and see their students perform. They are all brought together to celebrate the musical achievement of their students and children.
It’s 8:30 AM on the morning of the recitals and the venue is already buzzing with activity. Teachers have arrived to help set up for a day filled with musical performances from instruments from piano to voice to electric guitar. Students begin to trickle in. A family carries in an entire drum set. A teacher is testing an amp. The nervous energy is tangible as the student performers take their places. The teachers, and guests settle in to enjoy the performances. The final performer takes their bow, and Renee hands out trophies and medals to the students, giddy with excitement and adrenaline. A relieved an excited aura replaces the nervous energy. The venue begins to clear only as the performers for the next recital arrive, and the cycle repeats three more times before all 150 students have performed, culminating months of practice and preparation.
A six-year old approaches the piano, apprehensive, wary of the unfamiliar keys of a new instrument. His teacher rises to help him but he has already begun his performance of Frosty the Snowman. Finishing, he jumps from his seat and runs forward to hug his family. Little does he realize that his first ever performance has been a success. The recital photographer captures the moment before the child runs back to his seat.
The audience sits in quiet as the drum set is erected. Murmurs float through the crowd; no one knows whether or not they are allowed to talk. They jump in unison as Imagine Dragons “Believe” blares from the speaker, a stark contrast to the amiable piano piece of the previous performance. Heads start to bob as the piece continues. Cheers ring through the clapping on completion. “That was awesome,” whispers a guest. “I was expecting to be bored, but this is great.”
Note-worthy’s Winter Recital is gives students the chance to showcase their hard work and vast variety of skills. It gives them the chance to create memories of success and the motivation to continue their hard work. But most importantly, it brings together a community of young musicians to share their love of music.
Our 2018 Winter Holiday Recitals will be held at St. Anne in the Fields, Lincoln on Friday, December 7, and Saturday, December 8, 2018. The registration fee is $40. We do not charge guests for tickets, and students may invite an unlimited number of guests.
Registration will close after November 5th. Students will be assigned to specific recital times. The Friday evening recital will be reserved for our older and more advanced students if they choose to participate in that recital.
To register, please contact Renee at email@example.com, or speak with your instructor.
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. In addition to working at Note-worthy, she is a student at Suffolk University and enjoys reading, baking, and hiking.
Note-worthy Teacher Philosophies
By: Rachel Stroia
Earlier this year, Note-worthy embarked on the project of collecting teaching philosophies from all of our teachers. We know that all of our teachers are unique in their teaching styles and goals. Reading a teacher's biography can sometimes not be sufficient information to decide if that teacher is a good fit for your student. We asked ourselves how we could make more focused information about out teachers available to families searching for music teachers. Just as every teacher has a different teaching style, every family has a different requirement for their own musical journey. We asked our teachers to write a teaching philosophy so that we could understand their motives, inspirations, and goals, not just their achievements. The results surpassed our expectations. Not only did we learn about individual teaching styles and methods, but we also discovered the wealth of diversity that the teachers at Note-worthy offer.
One teacher said, "I teach students to focus on achieving the sensations of healthy singing, rather than making judgments about the resulting sounds, which can often be instinctively negative, rather than objective and analytical. Once we free ourselves from negative judgments, singing becomes healthier, more creative, AND more fun! I ask students to view lessons and practice as science experiments; be playful and observant and the beautiful sounds will happen." Another, "My teaching philosophy is to instill a state of constant wonder and curiosity for music of all forms." Another, “"Whether teaching voice or piano, my primary goal is to help students see music as a creative, individual, and fun process! Through my positive and gentle guidance which includes invaluable tools like healthy vocal or piano technique, musical literacy, improvisation and ear training, and appropriate repertoire, I hope to help cultivate a lifelong love of music in my students that keeps them learning and experimenting for years to come."
Our teachers bring a wealth of experience from some of the best music schools in the county. But more than that, they bring a passion to share their love of music with others and to inspire a life-long love of music in their students. For more teacher philosophies, please visit our Meet our Teachers page.
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. In addition to working at Note-worthy, she is also a student at Suffolk University and enjoys reading and cooking.
Note-worthy's Teacher Features
By Note-worthy Experiences
Have you ever wondered why your instructor was first interested in music? How their musical voyage began? ? What kind of music they listen to on their spare time?
You can now learn all about the Note-worthy instructors in the Teacher Feature section of our website! Every month, we feature a different teacher and learn all about their individual musical journey. Discover the unique styles and stories of the diverse Note-worthy team.