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  • Grading Students

    Please help 🙈 I’ve been asked by two of my students to give them a grade for music (piano)? Is anyone able to advise me on the criteria for this? I keep finding myself wanting to draw from my traditionally trained brain but I don’t feel that this approach would be fair. TIA 🎶 I…

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  • Multiple Pianos vs One Piano

    LONG STORY SHORT: I’m looking for advice about shared lessons and expectations about having multiple pianos for students to use during the lesson. About a month ago, I received a call from a retired Simply Music teacher. Her long-time friend had observed her joy at teaching this method students years ago and now has three…

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  • Light Blue FABE Variation Rhythm

    I’m still having difficulty with the variation of Light Blue. Watching Neil over and over with the rhythm in the hands hasn’t helped me. Either it needs to be slowed down or written out for me so that I can SEE it. Could someone maybe give me the contrast in the last two bars for…

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  • Here to Stay Key and Chords

    I’m wondering if ‘Here To Stay’ from the Jazz program commences in the key of D minor and then modulates to A minor around the third line. I’ve had a student ask me why the g in the A11 chord is natural. Any thoughts? It is Amin, but for the fun of it (and further…

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  • Absence of Tempo and Expressing Markings

    The below question was asked in response to a video Neil posted to help answer a question about what key Dark Blue is in, covered in a separate Simpedia post: Neil Moore hearing Joe’s playing also made me realize you don’t put tempo markings on your pieces. I assume that’s intentional? And I’m also…

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  • What Key Is Dark Blue In?

    What key is Dark Blue in? Look at the music book for FL4. 3 flats. Also, the first and last bass note is C hinting at the tonal center. Ian Yes. And yes. And yet: it doesn’t really ever sound like C is a definitive tonal center, even at those starting and ending moments which…

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  • Muscle Memory and Speed

    I’m curious about the psychology behind the brain’s ability to increase the speed of muscle memory (play a song faster), but its struggle to decrease the speed of the same task. Anyone? Not an expert neurological answer, but: Speed comes with familiarity and comfort. Slowness requires control. “Muscle memory” is in many ways exactly the…

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  • Outside YouTube Tutorials

    Hi guys, I have an 11yr old student in ons of my groups who always tries to control the events! I have to manage her alot, bring her back to the room. She is on Foundation 1 and we have just got to Chester. After todays class she told me she wanted to play me…

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  • Preferring Shared Over Private

    Hi everyone, I didn’t sleep well last night and feel like I’m at a crossroads here. I hope it’s ok to vent some frustrations and maybe get some additional perspective from all you teachers… It seems like my studio has dissolved to a lot of private students again. I have struggled with starting and “keeping”…

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  • Blues Ensemble Approach

    This is a question about The Blues Improv Program. When we get to The Ensemble Approach Project #15, when you use the Bishop Chords or 13ths in the LH and the Blues Scale in the RH, my students say it doesn’t sound good when we process it in different keys. What am I doing wrong?…

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  • Transitioning Traditional Students

    I have a traditional student who is at the end of her book and I gave her the choice to go the the next book or Simply Music. The mom replied that it was up to me. I am not sure how to do this transition as it quite the change as I charge about…

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  • Trouble Starting Piece

    Looking for some advice…I have student who stutters everytime he starts to play. He’ll replay his starting note numerous times before finally getting into the song. Once he gets going, he plays well. But if there’s a break in his playing, or the start of another section he’ll repeat this behaviour. It’s quite unintentional on…

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