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”

Going Baroque – Inspiring students to explore

Several weeks ago, Susan Dennis and I wrote a guest blog for Leila Viss (88 Piano Keys) about our experience in planning a Baroque-themed program for our students.  It was a fun way to inspire our students to explore the Baroque era. Below is our blog post (link to the original post here) For mostContinue reading “Going Baroque – Inspiring students to explore”

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”