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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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  • Teaching Advanced Pieces

    Hello, I’ve got three students whose private music, found and sourced by themselves, is Moonlight Sonata. Two are teenagers in FDN 2 and 3 and one is early in TFMM and in FDN 8.The teenagers use youtube tutorials. All love the piece and I admire there keenness to get it down playing based from wherever…

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  • Personable and Fun Online Lessons

    Hello, here is the video recording, as promised, of the ‘Personable and Fun Online Lessons’ session I ran today. Hope you get some value from it. In hindsight, if there’s one topic I would have included its PETS. So useful for SM teaching, lockdown having amplified in a million ways. For another time eh? Thanks…

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  • Incorporating More Music Theory

    Looking for advice from the music theory nerds in our community. I’d like to incorporate more theory for some of my teens and students in higher levels. What do you use? Books? Online tools? This is for students in levels 7 and up, who are working on reading, jazz clues, and Acc 2. I’m curious…

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