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.

Free Printable For Teaching 3 and 4 Chord Songs

Keyboard Chords

In a recent post I shared an important law that every piano teacher needs to know and abide by, The Law Of Friends, which essentially says that tweens and teens will practice diligently if you teach them music that their friends like. For most teens, this will mean teaching pop music. There is no need to abandon traditional repertoire altogether, but in order to connect deeply with students of this age you will most likely have to bring in some pop or jazz.

How do you do this with a student who doesn’t know enough theory or read music well enough to play songs at this level? The good news is that there are LOTS of songs that use only 3 or 4 chords and today’s FREE PRINTABLE makes it easy for you to teach them how to play these chords.

The sheet has 4 blank keyboards so that you can use it with either a 3 or 4 chord song. During your lesson, let the student know that there are only 3-4 things they must know to play this song. That puts them at ease and opens them up to what you are about to say. As you show them the notes for each chord, have them color in the corresponding keys on the sheet with a color pencil. At that point they are ready to play one of their favorite songs with a very cool sound!

Because there is no music notation involved, you can take this time to help your student understand the layout of the keyboard and how music moves. You can go as deep with the theory as your student can handle – just be sure to follow the student’s lead.

Finally, if you haven’t downloaded Tim Topham’s free e-book on teaching teens, click here to get it. It’s filled with helpful information!

End The Practice Wars by Applying These 2 Laws

“It’s not what you do, but the way you do it that matters!”

Music theory. Keyboard topography. Rhythm. Ear training. Technique. All these are essentials of learning to play the piano, however, success in teaching these skills is determined by the WAY these skills are taught.

One of the biggest complaints of piano teachers and parents of piano students is that the child will not or does not want to practice. If you can relate to this, then allow me to give you a life changing piece of information:

Law of Love

Parents are busy. Sometimes they feel that they are too busy to sit and listen to their child practice piano. These same parents listen to music all the time while they are working and doing important things. So, what is the problem with listening to their child play music? It just might be that the music their child is playing is unappealing or uninteresting to the parent. Eliminate this problem by getting to know the musical tastes of the parents in your studio. A simple question in passing can get you this information. “Who’s your favorite artist / style of music / song?

Similarly, when dealing with older students (tweens and teens) there is another law you must know as a piano teacher who wants their student to practice:

Law of Friends

To sum it all up, music lessons should equip students to play music that they, their friends, and family enjoy hearing. The successful piano teacher knows this and abides by the law at all times!

Here are some additional FREE resources to help get you started on the road to ending the practice wars in your studio:

Teen Toolkit by Tim Topham: A FREE downloadable toolkit for teaching teens. A must read!

http://colorinmypiano.com/2013/04/09/free-printable-12-bar-blues-in-c/: Introduce the blues – no note reading, just cool sounds

8notes.com: Free riff lessons of popular music

http://www.teachpianotoday.com/2012/03/01/piano-recitals-are-like-totally-like-lame/ : Keep kids practicing with cool performance opportunities

Jazz for Kids : Use 5 finger scales to teach jazz to preschoolers

Most Interesting Ways To Play The Piano

 


This morning while reading Tim Topham’s post on The Most Unusual Places To Record Piano I was reminded of Brian Culbertson playing the piano backwards at a recent concert I attended. It was one of those moments you replay constantly in your mind. Fortunately I was able to find this video on YouTube. It has created some great discussions with my students about the importance of knowing your way around the keyboard and about entertaining your audience with your performance.