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

How To Use Facebook Live For Your Student Recital

Morgan Shaginaw-8

Every private music teacher knows the nightmares involved in SCHEDULING performances! When it comes to showcasing your students you’re competing with school events, family events, religious events, weather and a dozen other things. This is especially true for me during the spring with sports events and graduations. So after watching a few of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts I came up with a spin off version of that for my students called Fun Sized Concerts. Students and parents are LOVING it. So, I wanted to share the idea with you in case you’re looking for new ways to put smiles on the faces of your students and parents. I’ll show you step by step how to do it!

The venue for your Fun Sized Concert will be your Facebook page as you will be doing the concert via Facebook Live. There are tons of tutorials on how to do a facebook live – just search on youtube or google, or use facebook help.

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For our Fun Sized Concerts I scheduled each student during their regular lesson time. This takes the stress out of scheduling! They are available and their parents are too. Have students arrive at their regular time and take about 10-15 minutes to practice prior to going live. Students were also able to invite friends and family to come to the studio to see the concert in person.

Create a Facebook Event Page for your fun sized concert to announce and invite others.

I had a student create the logo for the Fun Sized Concert – you are welcome to use mine or create your own. To use mine, just drag it to your desktop.

Be sure to share your event several times on your facebook page to let people know about it. Also be sure to let people know they have to go to your facebook page to see the Fun Sized Concert at the scheduled time. They will NOT be able to see it from the event page!

To make the Fun Sized Concert even more special for students and families add some balloons or other decorations/signage to your studio for the day. Be sure that these are visible in the recording when you’re on Facebook Live.

You will need to ask someone else to hold your device to record or use a tripod.

Take a few pictures during the event as well.

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Finally either during or after the Fun Sized Concert you can present a gift bag full of Fun Sized Treats/Snacks to your student to congratulate them.

Once finished with the concert be sure to post the replay to your facebook page.

After the Fun Sized Concert be sure to respond to comments on your facebook page. You can also go back into your event page and add the pictures that you took during the concert or post them in a comment below the Facebook Live video.

If you decide to do Fun Sized Concerts with your students I’d love to see them! Tag DanaRiceMusic in your post and I will watch!

 

 

 

6 Ways Piano Teachers and Parents Can Encourage Piano Teens

Teens (and Tweens for that matter) these days are so into their digital devices that it can be difficult for a parent to have even a brief conversation with them about ANYTHING, let alone piano! So, why not communicate with them through their devices?

Drag these images to your desktop or save to your phone and text one of them to your teen! This will do at least 2 things – 1)make you look cool and 2)make your teen smile – or at least text you back a smiley face emojii! BONUS – it might just get your teen to practice more!

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How have you been successful with getting your teen to keep playing piano? Tell me in a comment!

Teaching Chords with Musical Dice!

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Visit www.ThePracticeShoppe.com to purchase Music Dice for this game!

Food For The Music Teacher’s Soul: Performing Live

As music teachers we spend hours preparing lessons, music learning games, and performances for our students. After doing an adequate amount of scouring music teaching blogs and piano teaching blogs, and attending student concerts and recitals there is little time left to devote to our own musical development. The interesting thing is that the missing ingredient in most music teachers’ studio marketing plans is consistent performance by the teacher!  I will speak specifically as a piano teacher, but what I am saying is true no matter what instrument the teacher teaches. The same thing we tell our students applies to us – in order to get better at playing your instrument, you have to PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT!

I know from my own personal experience how difficult it can be to carve out time to flex your performance muscles when you are a music teacher. I also know that carving this time out is absolutely essential. It is also life-giving! The video about is proof of that.

Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity and challenge to play in the faculty concert for the music camp where I taught. Getting to this point took a couple of years of trying to find time to collaborate with the other teachers because our schedules are so varied. Thankfully one of the faculty members, Russell Ferrara (fabulous guitarist who is fluid in numerous genres) never gave up and simply insisted that we make it happen. Oddly enough it took his persistence to get me and fellow teacher Derwyn Browne playing together for the first time although we work together often and live near each other. Russell lives a thousand miles away!

I can definitely say that it was well worth the wait and that we should have done this sooner. If you haven’t played in a while, please let me suggest that you get out there and go for it! Why should our students be the only ones who get to play? Why should they be the only ones who experience the rush that comes from an audience erupting with applause? Why should they be the only ones who get that undeniable sense of satisfaction from having done their best onstage?

If you haven’t done so already, watch the video. I hope it will inspire you to go out and play!

3 Non-Piano Teaching Music Blogs To Add To Your BlogRoll Now!

I get inspiration for my piano lessons from a variety of resources on the internet. Of course I read a TON of piano teaching blogs, but I also like to peruse blogs of elementary music classroom teachers. They have a wealth of ideas that are excellent for teaching music theory concepts and for performance. Here are some of my newest favorites:
Mrs. Q's Music Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I LOVE about this blog:

Mrs. Q. shares a lot of great ideas that she uses in her school music classroom. Many of these ideas can also be used in private and group piano lessons. She also has cool color by note pages that can be printed for FREE here.

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Technology Rocks Serioussly

 

 

 

 

What I LOVE about this blog:

This blog is not about music at all, but it is FULL of inspiration for teachers and music bloggers. Check it out to get some astonishing FREE printable posters for decor and inspiration! Did I say FREE? Yep!

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Make Moments Matter

What I Love About This Blog:

Finally a male elementary music teacher with a blog! Aside from sharing his great ideas for the classroom (which can sometimes be used for piano lessons as well) David has a MASSIVE resource list sorted by various topics of interest to music teachers. Let me warn you, you will need LOTS of time to go through the whole list!

The Piano Bench Mag Review and Giveaway

The Piano Bench Magazine

Love reading piano blogs or thinking about starting your own? Well the April issue of Piano Bench Mag is just for YOU! Simply entitled “The Bloggers Issue”, it introduces the artful piano teacher to 22 fun-filled piano teaching blogs available.  While some may be familiar, reading Karen Gibson’s take on the themes of these blogs will inspire you to look at them once again and discover hidden piano teaching treasures you hadn’t noticed before.

But wait, there’s more!

This issue will allow you to become even more “webwise” with an in-depth article on building a studio website and a thorough review of one of the latest music theory app games. There are so many resources in this one little magazine to help you continue to be the coolest piano teacher in town!

The Piano Bench Mag is available digitally on iTunes and Google Play as follows:

A single issue for $2.99 (non-subscription)
1-month subscription for $1.99 (automatically renewed until canceled)
6-month subscription for $7.99
12-month subscription for $11.99

You can get The Piano Bench Mag on Apple’s Newsstand here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-piano-bench-mag/id712098279?ls=1&mt=8

You can also get it on Google Play here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bdhjefeedd.gfcbdhjefeedd

Good news for Kids & Keys readers! Karen Gibson, the editor of The Piano Bench Mag has agreed to give away 2 complimentary 3 month subscriptions to 2 lucky readers! For a chance to win a FREE subscription, leave a comment below and / or on the Kids & Keys Facebook page. The first 10 comments on the blog and the first 10 comments on the Facebook page will be entered into a drawing for the FREE subscriptions. Comment now! The winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.