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  • Lament and Modes

    Just wondering if the sheet music for ‘Lament’ in the Jazz program is treated as a completely separate exercise to the improvisation in the reference book. Alternatively, do we work out what 4 note chords to use in the LH for the sheet music version as well? I like to put them together by creating…

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  • Tips for Older Students

    Those that also work with students 60+ might find something useful in a recent post to my students: Happy New Year! 🎉🎊 I hope you’re looking forward to an enjoyable year of music making in 2023! Here are a few tips that will support your progress. Correct Glasses: Using regular progressive glasses (those that have…

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  • Prospect Enrolled in MAC

    Feeling a bit disheartened- I did a free information session yesterday and said to the lady there was more Information at Simply Music website and she emailed today thanking me and has enrolled in the free foundation course 😞 I guess I’m just a bit shocked as in my 12yrs of teaching SM I’ve not…

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  • Family Tree Variation Rhythm

    I am finding the variation on Family Tree a challenge, even after leaving it for a time and coming back to it. Can someone give me some tips please? (Or should I just leave that one out?) It is challenging, indeed, in a very similar (but slightly different) way to the Chester Variation. It benefits…

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  • Hybrid Lessons

    I’m finding in some of my small groups that individuals need some one on one that is hard to achieve in a group setting. I’m curious if any of you do ‘hybrid’ lessons when one week they might be in a group and the next they have a private lesson? I feel l am not…

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  • Adult Walk at Eleven Challenges

    I have a student in her 70’s who is working on Walk at Eleven. We have been over all the clues many times (C to A to D to G, focusing on the notes a half step above or a half step below, etc.); despite working on this song for several weeks, she still comes…

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  • Playing Through Mistakes

    Funny sometimes the things that we need to teach/share with our students. This week we talked about performing without ‘giving away’ the fact that you had a stumble. After the conversation, one of my students played “Sit by My Side” with some imperfections BUT didn’t vocalize or roll his eyes, etc. His piano partner said…

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  • Reading Rhythm Tips

    READING RHYTHM TIPS For students who struggle to play the MORs using 5SS – especially those who have trouble keeping the 3 ingredients even within a steady beat 1) Match a metronome playing only singles until smooth and even. Then only doubles until smooth and even. Then only quads until smooth and even. Then try…

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  • Parent Support Session

    So happy about a droplet of grace that came to my studio today. A mum came up with an idea about which I am so excited that I am instituting next week. An hour long zoom SM Parent Support Session . The structure she suggested was all participants bring along an idea or something that…

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  • Resisting Hands Together

    I have a 5 year old who is resisting playing hands together. He is happy to play 5SS together but nothing else. Any ideas how to encourage him? some young children think it is going to be too hard to do so instead of giving it a go, they want to knuckle down (sorry for…

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  • Halloween Jackson Blues

    I just remembered a Jackson Blues variation I like to teach around Halloween that makes it sound a little creepy: RH – for each chord, move finger 3 down a 1/2 step (makes them minor chords – they don’t need to know that if they haven’t gotten to that in Acc1) LH – for each…

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  • Faster Student in Shared Lesson

    Sometimes in a shared lesson, one student is ready to move on from a project before others are quite ready. Let’s share some ideas for an extra “filler” project for that student. I’ll start: Utilize one of the Supplemental Programs – assign one project from it. Several have student videos, so you wouldn’t have to…

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