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Summer Listening June 2024

6/1 Gabriel’s Oboe 6/2 Mr.Sandman 6/3 Lachrimae 6/4 Ice Dance 6/5 Gnomus 6/6 Baroque and Blue 6/7 Holberg Suite 6/8 Shiva 6/9 Homeward Bound 6/10 The Sick Doll 6/11 Elegie…

Travel Piano Teaching, is It Worth It?

I am old enough to remember one time when I was sick our family doctor came to my house. ‘House call’ that was what they used to call it. Can…

My Case for Formal Recitals

My Case for Formal Recitals I have heard a lot of stories about piano teachers and their horror stories about recitals.” The stress, anxiety, stage fright, and more. But here’s…

Focus on the Classics!

Focus on the Classics! I love the piano! It is so versatile. We can play almost every style and genre of music imaginable. My students enjoy lots of different types…

The Never-Ending I Want a New Piano Piece Continuum

The Never-Ending I Want a New Piano Piece Continuum It goes like this; I assign a piece and after two weeks my student doesn’t want to learn it. So, I…

The Piano Teacher’s Peaceful Holiday Season

Today is December 18th and I am actually having a pretty peaceful holiday season this year. But it wasn’t always that way. I can remember some years when there was…

Find Peace During the Holidays

“You can’t have everything…Where would you put it?” I can’t remember who said that but it’s true. In years gone by, I was the woman who had everything, but I…

Building Trust with Piano Parents

Building Trust with Piano Parents “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” –Stephen R. Covey   To do my job effectively my students and their parents…

Want a Full and Flourishing Studio? Go All In

It’s a sunny Saturday morning here in Cleveland Ohio USA and I’m sitting here at the Academy of Irish Dance. It’s not a fancy place. Just a small waiting room,…

11 Tips to Navigate Piano Studio Spring Fever

Yay! It’s Springtime.   The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining a bit more, and it’s time to play ball.   What’s not to like?   Right?  …

The Dilemma of Kids with Great Ears.

I have seen this subject come up quite a bit in piano teacher groups. So I’ll tell you all a story. I have a student. The kid is brilliant. Not…

12 Games You Can Play With Online or In Person Students of Any Age 

30 minutes can feel like a long time for students. Especially online students. About mid-lesson, I like to take a two to four-minute break and play a game. These games…

Are Piano Lessons Really Worth It?

Are Piano Lessons Really Worth Your Time and Money?   If your walk by my house on any given evening, you can hear me annoy my neighbors with my piano…

Sounds all Around

There are all kinds of opportunities to train your ear just walking down the street. I was out in Seattle a couple of weeks ago walking around when I heard…

9 Ways to Make More Money Without Raising Lesson Prices

I get it. I totally get it. Things are crazy right now and with inflation driving prices higher every week everyone is squeezed. Sticker shock at the gas pump and…

Free Music??

Free Music?? Ok, confession time… I know the title of this post is a bit of an attention-getter. But I doubt anyone would click on a boring title like “The…

Tips for Student Retention

The best way to keep your studio healthy and thriving is to keep your students coming back year after year. The fact is, that it is easier to retain your…

Piano Lesson Humor

“You may not be able to change a situation, but with humor, you can change your attitude about it”. Allen Klein Piano Lesson Humor I remember my very first piano…

The Pre-Recorded Holiday Recital

My last studio recital was supposed to be in-person but several people tested positive for COVID and two, it was moved to Zoom. It was OK but a few of…

Age-related Practice Guidelines

  Keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is to create lifelong musicians and keeping in mind that I want my students to grow to love the piano, my objective…

What Is Happiness?

“Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happy.”

Help! My Child Doesn’t Like Piano Lessons

Fact no.1 – Learning to play the piano is something so many people dream of doing. Fact no.2 – Learning to play the piano or any musical instrument takes a…

Help! My Student Isn’t Practicing!!

This is a summer like no other. The airports are packed, national parks are over full, and everyone is out and about. It’s no wonder, we pretty much lost last…

Teaching Students to Read Music

I tell my students that music reading is our burden to bear. I played the violin all through school and reading the treble clef one note at a time was…

Teaching Rhythm

“Music is organized sound, Rhythm is the timing of the.music.  In time is where the music exists. Time is like the canvass, rhythm the brush strokes, and notes the colors.”…

Let’s Get Going – Tips for Getting Ourselves and Our Students Out of the Doldrums

It’s only Tuesday and it’s been a real challenge this week. Even some of my best students seem to be in Lala land. Forgetting notes and rhythms, losing music, playing…

I Love My iPad

In July of 2020, my father gave me an awesome gift. An iPad Pro. This was before the pandemic shutdowns and online teaching became my main way of earning my…

Teaching Students to Play by Ear

My very first piano teacher Mr. Herbert Sweet taught me to play popular music from the very beginning. I remember he would write out the melody and the chords to…

Making Online Teaching Easier

We have all been thrown into online lessons whether we wanted to be teaching online or not. I have been teaching online since 2016 when I moved from South Florida…

16 Qualities of a Good Piano Teacher

16 Qualities of a Good Piano Teacher? “Where love is deep, much can be accomplished.”  Shinichi Suzuki   I saw a post on Facebook today where someone was asking what…

Why Some Students Have No Performance Anxiety.⚘

Guest Post By Marlene Moore ( This may be the most important article you read this year.) Changes have happened with piano teachers during the past 20 years. This is…

Teaching Preschool Beginners Online

The good news is that they seem to have a vaccine for COVID. This means things may return to “normal” in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, online teaching is probably bound…

24 Reasons I Love the Piano

I admit it. I wrote a post called “19 Reasons I Hate the Piano”. I guess I was feeling a bit annoyed that day.   I started out playing the…

10 Tips for Teaching Transfer Piano Students

“Hello…Ms. Hall?” “Yes, this is she” “My name is Sherry I am looking for a new piano teacher for my daughter Angie do you have any openings in your studio…

The Arts… Who needs ‘em?

“We live in this world in order always to learn, and to enlighten each other by means of discussion and to vigorously promote the progress and the fine arts.”  –Wolfgang…

No More Labels Please – Tips for Working With Special Needs Piano Students.

I wrote this post a while back and never published it. I was worried about being too…I don’t know…controversial.   I totally respect the scientific community and all of those…

Ideas for Keeping Online Piano Students Over the Summer

Summer is coming, and it’s a tough time of year for piano teachers even when we are not going through a global health crisis. I (along with many others) am…

Free Piano Teaching Games You Can Use Online

Online Piano Games I am so very heartened by people’s response to the pandemic. So many people are pitching in to help. I want to help too, so I am…

Favorite Piano Teaching Books and Resources

I compiled a list of favorite piano teaching books and resources with the help of many colleagues. These are the books piano teachers recommend and use daily in their studios. The list features resources for beginning through later-intermediate piano students.

19 Reasons I Hate the Piano

19 Reasons I Hate the Piano   What!!! You ask.   What do you mean you hate the piano?   Didn’t you just write a book called “The Happiest Piano…

2020 Answers

Celebrate 2019 and Look Forward to 2020   I promised I would post my answers to the questions. So here they are. What were some of the high points of…

Parents: Why Your Child Must Practice the Piano

  I wrote this post “Parents: Why Your Child Must Practice the Piano” for pianoparents.net  I thought it would be a good idea to share it here as well.  Getting…

Piano Studio Program Statement

In my book “The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town” There is a chapter about the piano studio program statement. I believe most teachers already have a studio program statement. Teachers…

Words Have Power

Warning I have to warn you that the content of this post may seem like a no-brainer for those who are naturally positive people. For others, it may seem a…

Piano Students with Challenging Attitudes

My second son Johnny is musically gifted and like his mom he loves music. He has always been a super-sweet kid, although when he was younger, he was a bit…

Teaching Piano Lessons to Family and Friends

It goes without saying that some of your students will come to you because of people you know or are friendly with—friends of your children or children of co-workers, etc….

Beginning Piano Improvisation Activities

This post will explore beginning piano improvisation activities and why improvisation is so important. Objectives, For students to feel comfortable making their own music. To inspire creativity. To build confidence…

Practice Makes Progress

Chapter 18 – From “The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town-Empowering Teachers to Inspire Students” Practice makes progress. “Our aim needs to be the nurturing of children. The moment we rigidly…

Teaching Piano When Life is Stressful

No one ever talks about this, but teaching piano lessons can be hard on days when you are stressed, sad, or overwhelmed with concerns outside of the studio. It’s difficult…

Scripted Communication for Sticky Situations

It’s easy for me to know when boundaries are being crossed. I can feel it. It feels…well, bad. My blood pressure goes up, I lose sleep I feel angry. Maybe,…

The Value of Independent Piano Work

My goal as a teacher is to make myself unnecessary. I am happiest when I see my alumni playing music they have learned without my help. However, getting students to…

Ten Ways to Make Your Piano Studio More Profitable

I don’t know about you, but I feel like things are getting more and more expensive and money is getting harder and harder to come by. As piano teachers, we…

Make Time Fly While Teaching Piano Lessons

If you never feel bored, tired, or burned out while teaching this post is not for you. If you could use a little help to “Make time fly while teaching…

Still trying to Please Everyone? Stop it! You Can’t.

I had almost forgotten. It’s been a little while since I’ve been hit with a dose of negativity. Things have been going pretty well lately. I got a job at…

What Kind of Piano Teacher are You?

What Kind of Piano Teacher am I? Take the Quiz below   In my last blog post “Still Trying to Please Everyone? Stop it! You Can’t” I describe an incident…

Love Will Keep Us Together

I have one, most all-important wish for every person (adult or child) who comes into my studio to begin piano lessons. That is, that they fall in love with the…

10 Ways to Make Your Piano Studio More Profitable Without Raising Rates

  I don’t know about you, but I feel like things are getting more and more expensive and money is getting harder and harder to come by. As piano teachers,…

How and Why to Teach Folk Music to Piano Students

Folk Music, by definition, is the music of the people. It is simple enough that the average person can perform it and it reflects the lives and concerns of its…

10 Great Piano Teaching Games Using Chopsticks

Like most teachers, I always have an eye out for things that I can use when I am teaching. I came across a great set of twenty Chopsticks in the…

How to Draft a Piano Studio Policy

There are always questions coming up about studio policies. Recently I was asked to help draft a studio policy for the Arts Center where I teach. The idea was to…

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