Make Practice Fun: Piano Play Dates

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Singer Tip: Auditioning

10 Things Parents Can Do To Help Kids Learn Piano

Have you tried any of these things to help your kids learn to play piano? Tell me how it went in a comment below!

You might also be interested in 6 Ways Piano Teachers and Parents Can Encourage Piano Teens

5 Great Songs For Young Boys To Sing

What to sing? That’s always the question – especially when it comes to young boys. Here are 7 choices to get you started.

1. Fireflies by Owl City

2. Say Something by Great Big World

3. What Do I Know by Ed Sheeran

4. One Call Away by Charlie Puth

5. Count On Me by Bruno Mars

Help grow this list! What are your favorite picks for songs for young boys to sing? Put your thoughts in a comment below!

You might also be interested in 6 Great Songs For Tween/Teen Girls To Sing

 

6 Great Songs For Tween/Teen Girls To Sing

Choosing a song is probably one of the hardest things for a singer to do! So, here’s a little list of songs to help you out the next time you’re at a loss of what to present to your Tween/Teen Girl vocal student.

  1. Opportunity – positive, hopeful message. Popular because of the recent remake of the movie Annie. Watch on YouTube

2. Waiting Outside The Lines – Although Greyson Chance sang this song it is an excellent song for girls to sing as well.

3. Try Everything by Shakira. – Popular because of the Zootopia Movie.

4. How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara – Popular because of the Moana movie.

5. Colors of The Wind – Tori Kelly version

6. “Monday Is Coming” featuring Mary Rene Quarles – Fresh, fun pop celebrating the  weekend.

What are some other songs that you feel should be added to this list?

Share them in a comment!

How To Choose A Song To Sing

How To Choose A Song To Sing

Singing is a big part of life for many piano students. Either the student likes to play and sing OR the student accompanies singers from time to time. The student may even have a group or band where they have the responsibility for helping choose songs to perform. Because choosing the right song for vocalists is often quite tricky, I’m offering some general suggestions in this post on the most important things to consider when choosing a song.

  1. Make sure the song is age appropriate. Even if the singer sounds AMAZING, if the lyrics are a mismatch for the singer in terms of age then the performance will not have the desired affect. Nothing is more distracting than listening to a young child sing about topics they are too young to have any experience with. For example, no one wants to hear a child singing about having been cheated on by a lover!
  2.  BE HONEST about the singer’s current vocal capabilities! In order for the singer to make a great presentation, ALL the notes in the song must be singable by that particular singer! Resist the urge to select songs where only half of the song is within range and where the ending of the song is far too advanced for the singer’s stage of development. This deserves repeating: Song selection is a time to BE HONEST about the singer’s current capabilities! Keep in mind that any song can be transposed into a lower or higher key. Sometimes a simple change in key can make all the difference, however, it is important to recognize that even with a key change some songs still won’t work for every singer.
  3. Think about where the singer will be singing. Is this a performance for a talent show, a church service, school setting, funeral, musical theatre audition, etc? Who is the audience? Be mindful that a public performance is for the benefit of the audience! Do NOT choose material that will be offensive, uninteresting or unrelatable to the audience. 
  4. Take tempo into consideration. Sometimes tempo is not a deciding factor in song selection, but there are times when it certainly is! If you are singing 2 songs, it may be advisable to start with a slower tempo and end with an uptempo song. Also the same considerations from number 3 above are important here. Think about what the audience needs/wants in the situation.
  5. About those original songs– Unless the performance is specifically about original songs (as in that’s what the audience expects), you want to steer clear of originals in one song performances. If however, the performance is at a talent show and the singer wants to display their songwriting abilities, it is extremely important to inform the audience that this is an original song. Otherwise they may not be impressed by hearing a song they don’t know. That brings me to the next point – audiences usually want to hear songs they know and love so it’s to the singer’s advantage to choose a popular song that he/she can sing and perform well. In that same line of thinking, be careful about choosing obscure songs from well known artists. Remember, the audience wants to hear songs they know and love!

A good vocal coach will help you with song selection whether you’re preparing for an audition or performance. If you’re interesting in improving your singing and performance, consider studying with a vocal coach. Contact me for vocal coaching via Skype or FaceTime OR if you are in the metro Atlanta area make an appointment for an in person session.

 

Digital Piano Review Guide: Tons of Piano Blogs

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Check out the list of Top Piano Blogs curated by Digital Piano Review! Congrats to all the awesome piano bloggers out there – I everyone on the list has been an inspiration to my piano teaching, and I am honored to have Kids and Keys listed alongside them. Read the post from Digital Piano Review Guide here.