Supersonicspiano.com Review and Giveaway!

Supersonics.comLooking for new piano music that is fresh, easy to learn, fun to play and sounds more complicated than it is? Coming Right Up! Please allow me to present to you Daniel McFarlane’s Supersonicspiano.com. If you are already familiar with his work you will be happy to know that he has done a complete makeover of his website and has made it even easier to access ALL of his music. If this is your first time hearing about this Australian composer, get ready to be INSPIRED and to say goodbye to some of your worries about where to get cool music for your students!

If you have been following http://www.thefameschoolblog.com for awhile you probably already know that each year I do a special piano project with my students. Well this year we did music videos! One student’s video features a piece from Daniel McFarlane fittingly entitled “Pretty Piece.” Please enjoy the video to experience a sampling of our first music video projects and the music of this awesome composer.

Claudia learned this song at the beginning of her 2nd year of lessons and YOUR students from beginner to advanced can learn interesting pieces like this as well with ease. How is that for putting the fun back into piano for both the teacher and the student?!

Here are a few highlights of the new and improved SuperSonics site:

*Option to buy pieces individually

*All digital music – get your music on-demand without waiting for a hardcopy in the mail!

 *Option to purchase backing tracks

*Carefully graded pieces in Levels A,B, and C

*Backing Tracks (perfect for use in concerts)

*Duets and Trios

*Funky Solos

You will also find posts from Daniel’s twitter feed on the site. While visiting the site I saw in his twitter feed that he has also created FREE WORKSHEETS for his song “Off The Beat” and that more may be coming!

If you are using the Piano Maestro app by JoyTunes, there is an extra reason for you to try out Daniel McFarlane’s music. His pieces will be included in the app from late August to early September!

I bet you can’t wait to finish reading this post so you can hop on over to http://www.supersonicspiano.com! But before you do, leave a comment below for a chance to win an UNLIMITED REPRINT LICENSE for one of the books on http://www.supersonicspiano.com! One reader will be randomly chosen. The deadline for entering the giveaway is midnight on Friday, July 25th.

What’s The Unique Ingredient In Your Teaching?

Deja and Dana

 In a world where the words “piano teacher” often conjure up negative images in the minds of potential students and potential piano parents, your special skills and interests can help you stand out.  They inform your way of teaching and are the unique ingredient that draws students and parents to your studio!

I unexpectedly became aware of how I apply my special skills to my piano teaching a few days ago while teaching a student how to play the hit song “Say Something” by A Great Big World. This song is definitely a singer/songwriter’s song which lends itself to the piano’s rich ability to communicate deep emotion – especially when combined with heartfelt lyrics. In the process of teaching this song I discovered something unique and potentially marketable about the way I teach. I teach piano lessons from a singer/songwriter’s point of view!

I found myself using the lyrical idea to help my student understand the chord progression in “Say Something”. Where the lyric is hopeful or anticipating, the chord shape is open. Where the lyric is tentative or afraid, the chord shape is closed. When I reflect a little more, I see that I often use examples like this to help my students focus on delivering the message in the song. I believe that this is natural for me because I am a songwriter. Songwriters carefully craft their lyrics and chords to match each other so that they have a specific effect on the listenerFor me, this is the unique ingredient in my teaching. Students who study with me can expect to develop exceptional performance skills in addition to the basic piano skills that most piano teachers teach.

So, my challenge for you is to observe your teaching style during your lessons TODAY and take note of how you explain things.

  • What analogies do you use?
  • What examples do you offer your students for correcting technical issues?
  • What suggestions do you give them for memorizing phrases and music concepts?
  • Who are you as a musician?
  • What is your favorite part of making music?

The answers to these questions can help you pinpoint the unique ingredient in your teaching that makes YOU stand out in the world of piano teaching!

 

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Teaching Tweens and Teens

Supply and Demand 101: Music Teacher’s Edition

Teaching, Performing, Or Both?

Free Lead Sheets

Looking for some popular music to use in teaching?  Wikifonia.org has tons of FREE lead sheets. Musicians can upload sheets and download sheets of standards and popular songs. Enjoy!

Hot Cross Buns For Easter

Hot Cross Buns For Easter

This may be a little too late for today, but you can still share it with your piano players since most piano students learn to play Hot Cross Buns. This is a link to a site that posts videos that teach kids how to cook. Just click the link above or go to spatulatta.com to watch the video recipe.

Boys and Piano

Finding songs that interest my boys in piano is very difficult. Thankfully, by the time they reach 12 or so they sometimes have words to describe the type of music they want to play. Such was the case with one of my students recently. He has been learning to play Fur Elise (at his request a full 2 years after I first suggested it to him). As he had been getting very good at playing it I figure I should start preparing for what the next song would be. So I simply asked him what he would like to play. He told me that the only songs he liked right now are Fur Elise and The Snake Charmer. Then he thought about it and said, “I like them because they are mysterious. I like anything that is spooky and/or mysterious.”

It was like a secret code had been revealed to me. Certainly I could find spooky and mysterious.

So, this week I presented him with Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. He happily played this short arrangement from www.gmajormusictheory.org

Another hit with the boys in my studio this week was the Perry The Platypus theme from Phineas and Ferb. We adults know this tune as the theme from Peter Gunn or The Blues Brothers.

Other winners are usually

The Pink Panther

We Will Rock You

Star Wars Theme

Songs Kids Want To Play

Yesterday one of my students’ parents called me and told me to listen to the music being played in the background. It was her son playing one of her daughter’s piano assignments on his trumpet! The song was Fireflies by Owl City. Her son had “stolen” his sister’s sheet music so he could learn how to play the song. He also kept saying over and over “It’s not fair! She gives you cool songs to learn! Why doesn’t my teacher give me songs like this to learn?”

So, with a nod to “the piano-assignment-stealing-brother” I write today’s post. Here is a list of the top requested songs in my studio from the past month:

1. Someone Like You by Adele

2. Fireflies by Owl City

3. Dynamite by Taio Cruz


4. Mean by Taylor Swift


5. Fur Elise by Beethoven

Of course most piano teachers know all about Fur Elise, but if you’d like to teach your students any of the other songs you can stop by any number of websites including musicnotes.com, 8notes.com, and sheetmusicplus.com for a teacher cheat sheet otherwise known as sheet music!