4 Ways Becoming A Parent Changed My Teaching

It is beginning of 2019 and I have been reflecting on my teaching career of 12+ years before becoming a parent last year.  Even before parenthood, my teaching has changed dramatically from when I started teaching my first student, without formal pedagogy training. However, as I gradually went back to work after the birth ofContinue reading “4 Ways Becoming A Parent Changed My Teaching”

Public Performance Tips

On the last Sunday of April, I attended ORMTA Central Toronto Branch’s biannual scholarship recitals. There were three separate recitals based on level (Junior level 1-4, Intermediate level 5-8, Senior level 9+). Performers from each recital were eligible for various scholarships (money!) based on their performance. Although there weren’t “first, second third” place prizes, thereContinue reading “Public Performance Tips”

How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 3

In this third and final post on “How to Raise a Smart Kid”, I delve into the 5 factors  that lead to more successful academic achievement in kids, this time specifically in private music lessons, to determine what makes a “smart musician”.   Attitude toward education Examine your attitude toward music lessons. Assuming this isContinue reading “How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 3”

How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 2

I first started this series several weeks ago, trying to understand the variation in PISA test scores of kids in different countries around the world. I started with Part 1, looking at possible explanations behind why some countries, such as Singapore, ranked the highest in the world, and why the USA, a wealthy first-world country,Continue reading “How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 2”

How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 1

How to Raise a Smart Kid Since 2004, I have taught hundreds of children, teenagers, adults, and seniors from 3 to 80+ years old. One of the most fascinating aspects of my job is meeting different kinds of students, all with unique personalities and backgrounds. I am especially interested in the range of ability inContinue reading “How To Raise a Smart Kid – Part 1”

4 Reasons To NOT Take Piano Lessons

Early on in my piano teaching career, I had the brilliant idea that ALL students could learn the piano, regardless of motivation, ability or background.  I just needed to find the right music, or the most exciting games and activities, and they would be hooked.  After teaching hundreds of students, I have realized my ownContinue reading “4 Reasons To NOT Take Piano Lessons”

Stopping Stopping

No, the title isn’t a typo. Today’s post is all about stopping stopping, or in other words, how to prevent pauses and hesitations when playing music. Frequently, after a student plays their piece for me, I will ask them what they thought of their performance. Students frequently point out note or rhythmic errors, or challengingContinue reading “Stopping Stopping”

How to deal with stage fright

This year at the North York Music Festival, I was able to attend a workshop by Moshe Hammer, acclaimed Canadian violinist. He also founded The Hammer Band, a charitable organization dedicated to preventing violence in children through “music education that promotes self-esteem, empathy and tolerance.  Children who learn to play an instrument and perform together learnContinue reading “How to deal with stage fright”