I am thrilled to share that Music Education Works has published my recent article, “Are We Producing Anxious Students?” The article discusses practical approaches to teaching young music students who are struggling with mental health and our need, as teachers, to adapt to a changing environment.
Last week, over 100 students from the New Orleans area participated in the Greater New Orleans Club’s LFMC Festival for piano and voice at the New Orleans Theological Seminary. The most outstanding students from that event were chosen to perform in an Honors Recital at Hall Piano Company the next day, and I am proud […]
I first met Darren as a student in my Piano I class, a group piano class designed for beginner students that is usually comprised of about 16 students all playing digital keyboards…. at the same time. It can be a challenging class to teach, as it consists of both music track students and non-music track students, some with experience, some with none. The object of the class is to teach students how to read music and prepare them with the technical skills needed to work through more challenging literature, theory, etc. in subsequent classes. As this class focuses on basics such as staff reading, rhythmic values, and musical structure, Darren and I quickly learned that this type of class structure would not work for him.
Let me start off by saying how much I love summer. If I could write a song to summer to let it know how happy it makes me, I would. After my first year of teaching in the Community College system in New Orleans, I now understand why summer is such a relief for teachers. […]
As musicians, many of us live and die by bizarre routines. Sometimes it’s practice routines, pre-gig or post-gig routines, or performance routines. We depend upon them for our sanity and self-confidence. After all, we are creatures of habit. I am no exception, or I guess I should say WAS no exception.
“My grandma pushed me into piano. I remember when I was 5, I started taking classical lessons. I liked it, and I felt like I was good at it, and I knew in life that I was supposed to make music.” – Trent Reznor This morning, I woke up feeling groggy and somewhat uninspired, so I […]
This has been the summer of sight reading for both myself and my students. I will be the first to admit that my sight reading skills leave something to be desired, and I have been working diligently to improve upon that this summer. When you live in a city where summers mean 104 degree heat indexes […]
As many of you already know, I recently finished a Masters degree in Piano Performance at Loyola University New Orleans; a masters degree that I in no way planned for and am still surprised I finished. While I have recently decided that going back to school was probably the best decision I have ever made, […]
First and foremost, practicing is a mindset, not an activity. It is imperative that the students focuses on what needs to be done in a practice session rather than just sitting down and setting a timer. An hour of practice with no focused goal is the equivalent of not practicing at all.
Unfortunately, I have not had many students who do enjoy practicing, and I certainly wasn’t the exception to the rule. The process of practicing is usually not nearly as fun as just about everything else when a child is 7, but when the student sees things getting easier and pieces becoming a little bit more interesting, this will usually change. For my students ages 6-9, I have some tips that might make practice time a little easier for everyone.