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 playing. I can play just about anything I want to. From Bach to Billy Joel, it’s all so much fun! I can play at my church, with my friends, or just by myself. I don’t know how I would have survived the last couple of years without the 88 keys.


It’s the beginning of another school year and time to think about what extracurricular activities you want your kids to take on, continue with, or stop. Families are busier than ever, and things are getting expensive. You may be thinking, are piano lessons worth it? I say yes they are, here’s why;

See the post “The Benefits of Piano Study”


It’s a well-known fact that learning to play a musical instrument boosts, memory, coordination, IQ, and test scores. Having to practice daily and perform teaches discipline, and resilience, and builds confidence. There is tons of research on this topic, and lots of articles. Blah, blah, blah. Lol.


But let’s take a look at what I think really makes playing the piano…super-radically, awesome!



The piano is the king. The piano covers the entire spectrum of musical genres (styles) of music. Pop, Rock, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Classical. Yes! we can play all these styles.


We don’t need anybody else. Sure, piano players can join in and play with others if they want to, but we don’t need other players to have a complete sound.


But they need us. We may not need other musicians, but they often need us. Singers and solo instrumentalists need an accompanist, and so do choirs, choruses, and other musical ensembles.


Piano players know what’s going on. Attend any rehearsal; choir, chorus, band, or ensemble. Who’s holding it all together? My money is on the gal behind the keyboard. She’s known to be found directing the group, transposing music, and playing everyone else’s parts so they can learn them.


Piano players are cool. Almost everyone I meet thinks it’s fascinating that I can play the piano My son Johnny is a guitar player, he thinks guitar players are way cooler than piano players. It’s true, we do get some competition from them. They have a certain amount of swag, and they can take their instrument with them, and even play laying down. So, let’s just call this one a draw. We’re both cool. If your kid can play, chances are his friends will think he’s cool too.

Check out his YouTube Channel

Johnny Hall



Piano players are rich. Ok, so this one may be pushing it a bit. There are some rich piano players like Elton John but most of us…not rich. But you can make some good money if you have the skills. I tell my students; that I want them to be good enough to have the piano to fall back on playing professionally or teaching.

See the post. Learning the Piano = Serious Cash



We don’t have an expiration date. There are plenty of old piano players. I’m quickly becoming one of these geezers myself. I keep practicing, I keep learning, and I just keep getting better. If you learn to play correctly, that is with proper technique (this is why you need an actual teacher) and if you are mentally and physically healthy you can keep going. As a person of faith, I plan to have this job in the next life as well. I’m pretty sure there’s some good music up there.


I’m not trying to be a piano snob or anything like that. I know that all of the instruments are wonderful. And there are so many fantastic things for kids to explore.


So, what’s the point of this post? You may have gotten this post from your piano teacher. I just wanted to encourage you and thank you for keeping things going. If you are thinking of quitting lessons, you might want to give it some more time. If you are thinking of having your child start, give it a try. If you have always wanted to learn yourself, it’s never too late.







Parents Why Your Child Must Practice the Piano


I wrote this post “Parents Why Your Child Must Practice the Piano” for  I thought it would be a good idea to share it here as well.  Getting students to practice is one of the biggest challenges we face as teachers. The post at has a slightly different title it is “Why Your Child Must Practice at Home”



“Ms. Hall I was so busy this week I didn’t have any time to practice” I hear this from at least one student every week. I understand life can be busy. Students have school projects, exams, and other events that come up and prevent them from being able to practice. I don’t consider the occasional ‘off week’ when it comes to practicing a major problem. But what about students who are involved in so many activities that they almost never have time to practice? Can they learn to play? What about students who have the time but just refuse to practice? Can these students get anything out of piano lessons?


The short answer is no. If you don’t practice at home, you simply can’t learn to play well. Playing the piano for 30 minutes a week at the lesson just won’t cut it. Imagine going to school for just 30 minutes per week. You would not learn much.



This is how piano lessons work.


A piano student attends a weekly lesson of 30-60 minutes in duration. During the lesson, the teacher reviews the material (music, scales, etc.) that has been presented the previous week and suggests ways to refine or improve the material. If the student has made sufficient progress new material is presented. A good teacher thoroughly explains any new concepts, answers any questions, and then assigns specific things to practice.

Read the post “Practice Makes Progress”


After that


The student is supposed to go home and practice the piano.


Let me be more specific.


Practice the things the teacher has assigned.




Every day.

(Or as close to every day as possible)


Or at least as close to every day as possible.


How long should practice sessions be?


That depends upon two things. First, the level at which the student is playing. Beginners need less practice than advanced students. Second the goals of the student. A high school student who plans to major in music will most likely practice more than one who is playing for enjoyment and has other career plans. The key is consistent careful, mindful practice that focuses on tasks, not time. However, most students’ practice should not take more than 30 and 60 minutes per day.


Note: Young beginners should practice 10-20 minutes per day.




Why Must Students Practice.


Because learning to play the piano (or any musical instrument) is a complex process. It is as physical as it is mental. Think of it as a cross between learning a foreign language and playing a sport.


Foreign language students need to learn to read and understand the language they are studying. They also need to be able to listen and understand what speakers of that language are saying to them so that they can respond. Music is similar in that; musicians not only have to learn to read music notation, but confident playing involves learning to understand music as it is heard.


Athletes train the body to respond to the possible scenarios that may arise during a game or match. A basketball player practices until his or her muscles know exactly how much force and at what angle the ball needs to be shot in order to get it into the basket from any point on the court. During a game muscle memory helps players make those baskets under pressure. Pianists rely on muscle memory as well. Play something enough times correctly and the body learns the music.


Athletes need to build strength and flexibility, so do pianists.


Of course, there is a lot of cross over between mental and physical pursuits. Athletes have to strategize, plan, and use their minds. There is an aspect of physicality involved in learning a foreign language as it is the mouth, tongue, and vocal apparatus that must move to produce words. However, playing a musical instrument uses both mind and body to the fullest extent.


In other words, playing the piano is a challenge.


You have to practice.


But Why Every Day?


Daily practice is optimal because it helps the brain to retain information and helps the muscles to stay strong and flexible. A student can make some progress practicing only a few days per week, but learning is amplified with daily practice.


This is because of long term and short-term memory


“The brain stores information in its short-term memory that it only needs for a few minutes, such as a phone number. Long-term memory contains data that the brain will use for years, such as how to use a telephone.”


When you learn something new you need to think about it multiple times so that it moves from short term to long term memory. In my experience, this needs to be done within a certain period of time. Which is; a few hours after the new information has been presented and the very next day.


For example, I can teach a student that a whole note receives 4 beats. If it isn’t written down where he can look it up and he doesn’t recall it to his memory he will likely forget it. However, if he thinks about it later that day and the next, he most probably will remember it for the rest of his life.


This works when practicing as well. When a student practices something on Monday and doesn’t return to practicing until Thursday she will have lost some of the progress that had been made when she did practice. On the other hand, daily practice means that she will retain what she had practiced the day before and she will add to it making daily practice much more efficacious.


But What if My Child Really Doesn’t Have the Time to Practice?


As I said in the opening of this post, I don’t consider the occasional busy week something to be concerned about. But if your child does not have the time or want to take the time to devote to piano practicing you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.


The first question is,


Are we willing to make the necessary changes in order to fit piano practicing into the schedule?


Can you drop some things so that there will be time for the piano? If you tell your child to practice will he do it?


If not the second question is,


What are we doing?


While your child will learn something by simply coming to lessons for 30 minutes each week if she isn’t practicing it’s doubtful that she will make much progress. Do you really want to spend money and time on something that will yield little results?


The world is full of people who have taken piano lessons as a child. But only those who are willing to devote time and effort to the instrument will learn to play well enough to really enjoy the piano.


I understand the dream of being able to play. Every single day I am thankful that I can. But it was not easy. I had to practice. In fact, I still do, every day. (well, almost every day.)


I think I speak for most music teachers when I ask you to help your child make time to practice and encourage him to practice with care. The results will speak for themselves and your child will thank you in the end.


Our job is so much better when students practice! 

If you like this post send your student’s parents to where they can read about how to help their children become successful piano students.

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Piano Studio Etiquette 101

Here’s a post I plan to publish at I thought piano teachers might find it entertaining. I would love to hear some of your comments and stories. Piano studio Etiquette 101.


I’ll start with a disclaimer if you are a subscriber to you probably don’t need this. If you care enough to read this blog you are likely are a caring parent who really appreciates your child’s piano teacher. In fact, you will more than likely be flabbergasted by that a post like this even needs to exist (actually I am flabbergasted that a post like this needs to exist). But it does, so keep reading and maybe together we can raise some awareness about how youngsters should behave at the piano studio.


I am an active member of several piano teaching groups on the internet and in “real life”. One issue that has been coming up a lot lately is the fact that children are mistreating the piano teaching space, which in many cases turns out to be the teacher’s home. Stories of kids running amuck through the house, breaking things, leaving messes are not unusual. In fact, they are becoming more and more commonplace. So I invented my own mini-course I call it “Piano Studio Etiquette 101”.


These lessons are geared toward home studios, however, they apply to any space in which lessons are taking place.

Read the Post “Working with Challenging Parents”


Lesson 1. About Time

Your teacher runs his studio on a tight schedule. He also has a life (contrary to popular belief). He needs to eat, sleep, shower and attend to other basic needs. He probably likes to practice, watch TV, spend time with his family and things like that. Please drop off and pick up students on time. If you pick up late you are keeping your teacher from doing something else or concentrating on someone else’s lesson. If you drop off early…just don’t drop off early, go get a cup of coffee or something and arrive when the lesson is supposed to begin.


Lesson 2. Don’t Space Out

Stay in the teaching space. If your teacher is teaching in her living room stay there and have your children stay with you. She probably would rather not have kids nosing around in her kitchen (or bedroom). Bring something quiet for siblings to do while the lesson is going on.


Lesson 2. Hold the phone!

Lady on PhonePlease put your phone into the silent mode. Most parents don’t talk on the phone in the room during the lesson (thank goodness!). But that pesky texting. All that type-clicking and send-binging = distracting!

(If you or a child is using noisy tablets or video games please use headphones.)

Lesson 4. Speaking of Siblings

Ask your teacher if it is OK for you to leave an extra child during the lesson. Your teacher is not running a babysitting service. That being said, sometimes my piano parents will drop off siblings (or a friend) to wait while a brother or sister is having a lesson. I don’t mind if the child is mature enough to sit quietly and do homework or read. However, this is something you should ask him about.


Lesson 5. No Dumping

Don’t leave garbage in the piano studio. Throw things away in the proper receptacles or take your trash with you when you leave. Better still, don’t bring trash into the studio in the first place.


Lesson 6. Food Facts

Taco BellSome teachers don’t mind snacks in the studio. Some teachers don’t like any kind of eating during the lesson. Ask. Let’s face it, we all get hungry. A hungry kid is not going to be a focused one. The same goes for a hungry teacher. Try to eat before the lesson if possible. If your child must snack, use common sense when choosing something to eat or drink. (Taco Bell with extra hot sauce is probably not the best option). And don’t let your child leave a mess behind.


Lesson 7. Clean Up.

If your teacher has a waiting area leave it neat and tidy (assuming you found it that way). If there are toys or books, please put them away before leaving. Don’t leave a leave the place looking like a tornado just went through!


Lesson 8. Don’t Break Stuff.

This is your teacher’s home (or studio). Don’t let your kids wreck her stuff. Period.


Lesson 9. Be a Good Neighbor.

Your teacher probably has neighbors. These neighbors may or may not be thrilled to have a piano lesson business in their neighborhood. So please be careful where you park, don’t let your children run around in the neighbor’s yards, chase their dogs, pick their flowers or anything like that. Come and go as promptly and as quietly as possible. If you do see a neighbor be polite and friendly, and have your children do the same.


Lesson 10. Group Dynamics.

During recitals or group classes, supervise your kids. First and foremost, please be sure they are safe. Your teacher is opening up his home or studio for your children. But he is also opening himself up to liability if your child should be hurt or hurt someone else. Second, be sure your child is respectful of the space and its contents especially when it comes to refreshments! Pizza sauce on the walls and fruit punch on the floor. Not good!


So there it is Piano Studio Etiquette 101 Get it? Got it?….Good


I’ll bet a lot of piano-parents are sitting in mouth-gaping amazement. I know what you’re thinking. Do people really do this stuff? Do they really need piano studio etiquette 101? (Hopefully, that’s what you’re thinking if not maybe it’s time to repeat the course). Yes, Mam/Sir, they do!


I’ve actually had all of these things happen in my studio.(Except for the pizza sauce that happened to someone else). Including one mom who knocked over my neighbor’s mailbox almost every week while backing out of my driveway. One Dad who would bring in all of his car’s trash and leave it for me to throw out. Students who would show up any time of the day expecting a lesson. I once had a student come to one lesson skip the next three weeks and then show up on week 4 as though nothing had happened?! And the one that topped the cake was… the mom who sent her 7 year old to my home with her bathing suit and towel so that she could swim in my pool during her sister’s lesson! They need a lesson in piano studio etiquette 101.


Thankfully 99% of my families are awesome! They treat me with respect and honor. I treat them the same way and that’s the way it should be!

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Understanding Parents and Caregivers

Chapter 14 – Understanding Parents and Caregivers

“Expect the best and people will rise to the occasion.”

~ James Kerr

Dealing with parents and caregivers is a big part of our job as teachers. First and foremost, let me say that I love my piano parents. The fact is they pay me and are the ones responsible for bringing their kids to lessons and supporting them as they learn to play the piano. I try to always view them in the best light. Parents look up to me as a teacher. They rely upon me to help them make their kids successful at the piano.

I have found that if I can try to understand where parents are coming from it helps me navigate those sticky situations without becoming upset or distraught.

I am a parent myself, so I have compassion for how hard it is to juggle everything. I raised five boys. All of them took music lessons and participated in sports, scouting, and other extracurricular activities. I know that I was, at times, the cause of exasperation for my boy’s teachers, coaches, and leaders. I always went out of my way to be super nice, respectful, and pay on time.  Still, my Achilles’ Heel has always been household organization and scheduling. On more than one occasion, one or the other of my two older sons showed up to an orchestra concert in a wrinkled tuxedo or with two left shoes. Between trying to run a studio of 45 students, holding down a playing career, and raising a large family, I found it nearly impossible to stay on top of everything. Every time we got to the right place with the right stuff on the right day, I considered it a small victory! So trust me, I have sympathy with parents and caregivers.

Looking at things from the teacher’s side is a little different, though. I have a job to do—teach my students to play the piano. This is a monumental and complicated task. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I have no issues with parents. Everything is as they say “copacetic”. No serious problems. However, now and again, some things arise with a parent or caregiver that impacts the quality of piano the education I am able to provide.

Here are some of the challenging parent-types I occasionally encounter and how I work to resolve them.

The Overwhelmed Parent

This is the parent whose child is rarely brought to lessons on time, often unprepared, and sometimes shows up without his music.  This parent or child frequent loses the directions to the recital. Obviously, I can relate to these parents.

My biggest advice here is not to sweat the small stuff. If they are late, I teach them for the time remaining. I never expected teachers to give my sons extra time if I was late, but I have had some parents in my studio who have. To solve this problem, I stick firmly to the schedule. I make sure that when the lesson time is over, I show my students out. To solve the problem of forgetting music and materials I make extra copies of handouts.  Since my piano method is online and printable, we never have to worry about losing or forgetting the music. My experience with these parents is that they mean well but, like me, they are probably in over their heads. The best approach is to do your best and take everything in stride.

Only Child Syndrome-Parent

This parent thinks his or her child is your only student. Not only that, they assume you have nothing else to do besides wait for them to show up. Have you ever gotten texts like this five minutes before a lesson

“Sorry, we can’t make it at 4:00.  We’ll be there at 5:30.”

Huh? What are these people thinking? Even if I don’t have a 5:30 student, this is just kind of… well… rude.  In the parents’ defense, maybe they just don’t understand how a studio works. That is why you must make sure to explain everything in your Studio Policy from the very beginning. After that, if this kind of thing still happens, nip it in the bud—immediately. Text back and say no to the time change, and be sure to charge for the missed lesson. I’ll say that again, be sure to charge for the missed lesson!

The Know-it-all Parent

I find this one funny because in my experience these parents are rarely professional musicians. They may play a little; usually, they don’t play at all.  The child usually doesn’t practice much, and therefore doesn’t play well. According to this type of parent, the reason her child isn’t doing well is either because she doesn’t like the music the teacher selected, or the teacher isn’t using the right technique. These parents bring in music, make suggestions, and tell you how to do your job.  Can you say INFURIATING?  I know these parents mean well and want the best for the child, but it’s hard not to get your back up when someone is questioning your competence.

I think the best thing to do in this situation is to stay calm and listen to what the parent has to say. After all, they are paying you and have a right to be involved. Take the time to explain your teaching methods to them. You may even want to share your Teaching Roadmap so that parents can see that you have a well thought-out plan. I have found that—most of the time—these parents are just trying to be helpful.  Once they understand a little more about what’s happening, the problem resolves itself.

The Hover-Round/Helicopter Parent

These moms and dads are very contentious but caring. They want to be involved in everything their children are doing, and they want to help them succeed. These are great qualities, but sometimes they can go too far. This usually happens when a parent is overly involved in practicing, and it becomes a battle of wills. Sometimes the kids just refuse to cooperate, other times the little whippersnappers will convince mom or dad that the assignments are too difficult.

With these parents, I tend to be very gentle. I tell them that I know that they care… a lot! I urge them to take a break, relax and let me take care of things. In my experience, once these parents understand that their children are in good hands, they become very supportive parents and their children do very well.

The Overstepper

These are the parents who don’t respect boundaries.  They come early, pick-up their children late, drop-off unattended siblings, and let their kids run through your house. They don’t pay on time or try not to pay for missed lessons. Arrrgh!  

Most of these problems can be avoided if addressed in the Studio Policy and the policy is enforced.  Sometimes, however, it becomes an ongoing battle forcing you to stand your ground. It’s important that you keep control of your time and your studio. Do not let people step over the boundaries you have set or break the rules you have delineated in your Studio Policy. Be sure to address these issues as soon as they come up. This is your right as the teacher and business owner.

So there you have it—my advice on dealing with challenging piano parents. I have found that most people are very nice and well-meaning. One of the reasons I am really big into educating families about what is involved in learning to play the piano and what we as piano teachers do is that I believe when parents know what to expect and what is expected, things run fairly smoothly. I am also big into educating myself. I have taught lessons in several cities and small towns in the U.S. I have had students from all over the world. Some misunderstandings are simply cultural differences. I try to be sensitive to these.

I feel it is important that families see teachers as the wise, honorable, dedicated, and caring people they are. I realize this is easier for more experienced teachers.

When I was a young teacher (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), I can remember not feeling very confident. I have had to cultivate confidence over the years. I had to learn to see myself in a positive light so that I could come across as a professional and earn the respect of my students and their parents.  You can too!

Positive Perspective

When dealing with people always expect the best. Expect people to be happy. Expect them to cooperate with you. Appreciate every person, and expect them to respect you as well. You may come across a few difficult cases from time to time, but most people are really quite nice.

This is Chapter 14 of the book. If you like this post why not read the book?

“The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town” celebrates the work we do every day.

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Piano Students Dealing With Disappointment


Back in November, I wrote a blogpost entitled “How to have a Confident Audition”. This post was inspired by the fact that four of my best students were preparing for auditions to popular magnet schools in our area. All four of the kids went through the audition. Each worked really hard and felt that they did very well (no major mishaps). I honestly feel that all of them are good enough to be able to “cut it” in these programs, but the statistics say that only one in five students will be accepted. Why am I writing this today? Because today is the day the emails go out. I certainly hope all four of my students will get accepted to the school of their choice, but if they don’t, I have to help them recover and carry on with their musical studies. Because they are too good to quit. I need to help them shake it off and carry on. It won’t be easy.I tried hard to lay the ground-work for a successful audition experience regardless of the outcome. I know this will certainly help if any of my students receive an email saying they did not make it into their choice school. But nothing can take away the stinging blow of rejection. Especially since this whole process is so “hyped” in Palm Beach County. All of the students will receive the emails today and they will all be texting, calling and even SM-ing the results. Four out of five kids are going to be publicly crushed and very dissapointed today. I wish it were not so but it’s something we have to deal with here. I know teachers in other areas also have to deal type of thing.

If there is a silver lining to this cloud, every year I have students that go through this process. I have even been through disappointing audition outcomes with my own boys. So I know it’s going to be OK, and this is what I share with my students who are not chosen for the arts schools.

Disappointment is not the end of the world.

First of all, I tell them that I am so proud of them for trying. They are already winners because they had the nerve to try. This, in and of itself, sets them apart. After that, I share with them my own experiences of disappointments and encourage them not to give up. I have been doing this for so long that I have several students who did not make it into an arts program but have gone on to major in music and have successful careers. I share fact this with my students as well. I do what ever I can to try and help them through the feeling of disappointment.

After that I drop it. We choose some new pieces and get down to work. I have never had a student completely fall apart because of the results of an arts school audition. For that I am thankful. I must say that am not crazy about this whole process. The arts schools in Palm Beach County are excellent, but it’s a lot of pressure for children trying to get in and staying in them once they have been accepted. Luckily, children are resilient. If the adults around them handle the situation in a calm and supportive manner, it has been my experience that they bounce back and do just fine.

What I really want my piano students to know.

I am so proud of all of my students and their families. I am blessed to have such a great job and work with such great students and families!

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The 30 Minute Piano Lesson

The Thirty Minute Piano Lesson

Have you ever wondered why the 30-minute, private piano lesson is
the standard for piano pedagogy? I have. I have tried different approaches yet I always seem to return to the 30-minute model. It works well but there are also some challenges. I began learning the piano with a 30-minute, private lesson 
once per week. I am still teaching half hour lessons all of these years later.

In fact, I feel like my whole life is divided into 30-minute blocks of time. Certainly, a half hour seems like a small amount of time to spend on something as monumental as learning to play the piano but this is what most teachers and students are working with.

Why Thirty Minutes?

I believe that the 30-minute lesson has evolved primarily due
to cost, convenience, and efficacy. In layman terms, 30-minutes of piano class gives all of us the most “bang for the buck”. No doubt, it would be great if teachers could see each of their students every day, even all day! Piano School! Conservatory for everyone, music all day long surely, that would produce great students. Unfortunately, this is completely unrealistic not many people could pay for this and students do have to go to school and learn things like reading, math, and science.

I have experimented briefly with group lessons. Teachers can
earn more and parents can pay less with group lessons but I have found that group piano lessons work best when combined with the traditional 30-minute piano lesson. Group classes work well for theory, music history, and recital practice. The piano, however, is not really a group instrument and most teachers only have one or two pianos in their studios, therefore, students have to share “key time” which is difficult.

Making the Most of Thirty Minutes

This brings us back around to the 30-minute piano lesson.
How can we as teachers make the most of this small amount of time with our students?

First and foremost we have to educate our students and their
parents about the importance of daily practice. I always ask my students how much math they would learn if they only attended school for 30 minutes per week. Although most students will tell me, they
would love to have only half an hour of school each week, they all admit that they wouldn’t learn much. This is my chance to make the point that without regular practice they will not learn much piano either.

It is also important to pace the lesson to fit the
individual student’s needs. Most experienced teachers are very good at this. With most of my students, the lesson begins with technical exercises. After that, I hear the pieces assigned the previous week. Sometimes the student needs more work on this material. If the student is ready, I introduce new music. We finish up with scales. I usually teach theory along with the music with which the student is working and send home extra theory work if needed.

In Conclusion

Lastly, I write everything down in a notebook that the
student takes home. I make sure students are clear about what work
needs to be done at home I give the students a daily schedule so that
they can keep track of their practicing. If need be, I can record things for
them to review at home (all of my parents and/or students have smart phones). I also direct them to the Paloma Piano or website/websites to watch a video or read something where applicable.

I don’t believe that the 30-minute piano lesson will be going
away anytime soon. ( Although my advanced students take hour lessons). With good planning and regular practice, 30-minute lessons can work well for both students and teachers.

If you would like free piano music and resources for your studio


10 Benefits of Listening to Classical Music

Let’s face it; convincing your students that classical music is “cool” can be difficult. Most students would rather learn more contemporary songs. What these students fail to realize, however, is that they are missing out on all of the wonderful benefits of listening to classical music. Listening to classical music has a ton of both physical and mental benefits. For example, studies have shown that listening to classical music can help boost memory, spark creativity, and reduce stress levels.

In fact, people who listened to Mozart displayed an increase in brain wave activity linked to memory, according to a study published in the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition. In addition, scientists claim that classical music’s tempo mimics the human heart, which eases symptoms of anxiety and depression. The benefits of listening to classical music don’t stop there. To see more benefits of listening to classical music, check out the infographic:

Next time you have a student complain about learning or practicing classical music share a few of these benefits with him or her. Who knows, he or she might become a super-fan of classical music.

This article originally appeared on TakeLessons an online marketplace that connects thousands of teachers and students for local and live online music lessons. To read the full article, click here.

Many thanks to Brooke Neuman and the great people at for writing this post. Take is a great place for piano teachers to find students and  a great place for students to find teachers.

There has been so much research on the benefits of listening to classical music and playing classical music is even better for people.

If you would like tons of free music you can download and print for your piano students.


Dance and Music a Great Combination

“Dance like music is the expression of the human spirit. Dance is visual music” S.Janaki.


Dance and Music a Great Combination

Dance and music. Last Saturday I attended a student dance recital it was exciting to watch the young dancers show off their skills. It was particularly exciting for me as a few of the dancers in the recital also happen to be my piano students. I encourage my students to participate in the “other arts” i.e. theater, the visual arts, creative writing but I am especially excited when I hear that a student is also a dancer! What better way to learn to internalize rhythm than to feel the beat and dance to the music!

“Five-Six-Seven-Eight” Dancers count! They have to, there a bunch of them trying to stay together so counting is imperative. My piano students who also dance understand the importance of counting while learning music they don’t mind counting aloud. With most students I have to insist on hearing them counting as they play, dancers just don’t seem to feel awkward about counting.
Which translates to greater rhythmic understanding in piano study.

“Dance is the Child of Music” A. Fandango

Dancers listen. The average dance student attends class three to four times per week. During class they are hearing music, all kinds of music, Jazz, Classical, Broadway, Pop, Hip-hop, you name it. All of this is great for music students because the more music you hear the better musician you are going to be. Musicians must listen, just like writers must read, and painters must look. Dance students spend more time hearing a large variety of music than the average piano student.

Dancers Move.

One of the most difficult musical skills to acquire is the ability to keep a steady beat. Dancers move to the beat of the music. The whole body is involved. This internalizes the keeping of a steady beat. I work with adult and youth choirs when the singers are having trouble keeping feeling the pulse of the music it is not unusual for the director to have the singers march or sway to the beat of the music. Getting the body involved helps them to feel the musical pulse. Dancers do this naturally.

“The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music, bodies never lie” Agnes de Mille

I think that dance is a wonderful pursuit for girls and boys who also love music. people can dance at a dance studio or just put on some music and dance! It is as natural as singing, dancing is a gift for all to enjoy. And it surely helps the music student with rhythm.

What do you think about dance and music? Leave a comment below.

If you would like free printable piano music and materials for your studio


10 Piano Recital Tips

 Piano Recital Tips

As the school year comes to a close, teachers parents and students
are looking forward to the spring recital. Here are some tips to make
recital time fun and (almost) stress free. Here are 10 piano recital tips.


Piano Recital Tips for teachers

1. Select repertoire that is well within your students playing ability.
2. Give your students plenty of time to prepare the music.
3. Teach students to recover from mistakes,memory slips or other problems that may occur during the performance.
4, Have students play their recital pieces for each other when they come into your studio.
5. Teach students to bow properly and exhibit appropriate behavior during the recital.


Piano Recital Tips for Parents

6. Encourage your child to practice and attend lessons regularly.
7, Have your child dress appropriately for the recital. This is a big deal,
neat school clothes, or church clothes please.
8. Arrive on time and stay for the whole recital. Don’t leave after your child plays.
9. Turn off cell phones!
10. Let you child know how proud you are that they are participating no matter how he/she plays.
Let your child’s teacher know that you appreciate the effort required to host the recital.


Make it fun!

Above all have fun!! Meet the other families in the studio. I really look forward to recital time.
I love seeing my whole studio at one time all together. I am so proud of the students. I am
so grateful to the parents and guardians who take the time to bring their children to piano every week.

Recital time is a chance for us to do something excellent! To dress up, bow, and do your best.
Sure there will always be mistakes and mishaps, that’s part of the experience. This is a chance to
learn to carry on with poise and grace no matter what happens.

If you would like free printable music for your studio


When Students Want to Quit Playing the Piano


I happen to love playing the piano! But, the 88 keys are not for everyone. Learning the piano takes a huge commitment of both time and money. It’s a BIG project! In my opinion, you really have to be “all in”.

I put a lot of effort into making sure that people understand this when they begin the piano study. I don’t want any of my students to quit playing the piano. Nevertheless, sometimes I will see that a student doesn’t seem to be enjoying their lessons.

I care about people – whether they play the piano or not. To get a student or parent to consider where they stand with piano study, I usually tell them my sewing story:

My mother was an excellent seamstress – she could sew anything. She also knitted and crocheted. When I was a girl, my mother really wanted to pass these skills on to me. She would attempt to teach me but I just did not want to learn, I had no interest in sewing. I would sit at the machine and try to sew in order to please my mom but I really did not want to. I found sewing tedious, and boring. My mom was nice about the situation but confused. “How can you sit at the piano for hours and practice isn’t that tedious?”, she would ask. “Not for me, mom”, I would answer. My mom finally gave up on the idea of teaching me sewing.

Now mind you, (I tell my students and parents) I think people who can sew are awesome. I think it’s a wonderful skill. I truly admire people who can do it, but it is not for me. Even if I could sew instantly with no effort I wouldn’t want to. I don’t know why.

Read the post “Fall in Love with the Piano”

I ask the student if he feels about piano the same way I felt about sewing. Many times, the student will say he hasn’t really considered this. (In other words, he shrugs and says “I don’t know”).

At this point, I put this question to him; “If I could magically turn you into a great piano player right now would you be excited about it?” Usually, the student will say yes. At this point, we talk about sticking with the piano so that he can reach the goal of becoming a great player. I work to try and figure out how to get him more excited about practicing. So that he won’t quit playing the piano.

Once in a great while, a student will say no, he wouldn’t be excited about playing. If this happens, I assure him (and mom or dad) that it’s OK. Just as I didn’t like sewing, the piano is not for everyone.

So do I dismiss the student at this time? No, not at all. I ask the family to discuss the matter. Some parents insist the student continue with lessons as part of their education.

I actually applaud this line of thinking.

All of my own children (5 boys) studied musical instruments, and not all of them were excited about it. I tell the student, “since you have to be here, why not learn to play?” Most times this helps to turn the student around. I think that people just want to be heard and understood.

It IS about more than the 88 keys. That’s why students need teachers.

Dr, Suzuki said “Where love is deep, much can be accomplished”
I believe him.


What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you would like free printable music for your piano studio