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Assignments for Month-Long Break

Would it work, when there is a month-long break from teaching, to suggest that dedicated students (at the appropriate level) work through Tune Toolkit and The Chord Drill on their own? I have the vaguest recollection from the training on those that "students can work through this on their own", but don't have time to chase it down in the training materials. Suggestions, please? (Mark S. Meritt, Elizabeth Gaikwad) Any other suggestions for filling the…
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Blues Scale Fingering

I am doing the Blues Improvisation ‘Blues Scales’ and have a question about fingering patterns. In the C scale we use F1 on White notes and F3 on Black notes but what about in other keys? I don’t know if I’ve missed it somewhere... but that combination doesn’t seem to work with all keys. The Scale Journey approach is relevant with regard to a visual map. I've always involved my students…

Teaching Capitals & Periods Early

Successful new idea I hit upon with a new group. These are kids on the young side, 6-7. I ended up teaching them just the Capitals & Periods from the Pause Button (Tune Toolkit Project 2) prior to teaching them the rest of that project, and prior to completing Dreams. I didn't even have them review any SHM. I just said pick a finger in each hand in your mind, and then play them together.…

Blues Scale Fingering

Is there anywhere in the program that explains how to count and play triplets? (of quarter, eighth or 16th notes)? When doing the blues improv in some keys, like Eb, the blues scale notes don't seem to fit with I, IV, V. In other keys they do. Is there a reason for that or is it just our (my student and my) bad ears? When doing the Eb blues scale, does anyone have any suggestions on…

Teaching tip: Preparatory Learning

Teach a very small portion of something without revealing what it's leading to. This works great with Arrangements, e.g. Soapy Dreams (Dreams #2): I teach just the LH chord shape and ask students to try it in different locations on the piano. Once everyone's got it (usually the next lesson or two), I ask them to remember a few positions for the chord: first D on bottom, the C, and go back and forth so we…

Webinar Series: 04/19/2018 – Piano – Ask Neil Anything

This webinar is driven by teacher questions. Topics range from the rationale behind some of the curriculum to supporting coaches to the future of Simply Music. Enjoy! Topics include: Intro: Funny Story About Neil (00:05) Helping Parents be ‘Requirement-Based’ (2:06) How Teachers Can Improve Their Rhythm Skills (12:55) Engaging All Students in Shared Lessons (20:04) Rationale for Repertoire of 30-40 Songs (28:13) Reason for Notation Changes in Foundation Music (31:23) Blues Songs – More Common Keys Used (33:58) Developing Our…

Webinar Series: 02/06/2018 – Piano – Becoming a Self-Generative Teacher

In this webinar you will learn the importance of developing your own self-generative skills in supporting self-generative students. Practical steps are shared with regard to how to accomplish this. Topics include: Distinction Between Receptive & Generative Skills (00:00) Importance of Supporting Self-Generative Students (05:55) Developing Yourself as a Generative Teacher (17:38) Relevance of Playlist & Long-Term Relationship Conversation (30:59) Recap - How Teachers Can Develop Generative Skills (33:51) Teacher Questions: Parents Helping Struggling Students (35:32) Transition into Development Program (38:58)…

Siblings learning at different paces

I have a group of home schooled students. Three are siblings. The oldest one catches on much quicker, and the youngest one struggles, especially with blues pieces. There is one other student in that group from a different family. If they were all different families, I would probably move the oldest and youngest ones to two different groups (assuming I had an appropriately-paced group to move them to). Since they are brother and sisters, I'm not…

Improv duet ideas

Improv duet ideas (student/teacher): 3-note improv with any blues song (G-A-Bb, G-Bb-C, C-Eb-F). Choose any of these combinations for the student to improv on while you play a blues song. 5/5, 1 on A with Night Storm Accompaniment arrangement 5/5, 1 on C with Dreams Come True Accompaniment arrangement Black notes with Life Song lower part (in Time for More Music) White notes with Honey Dew or Amazing Grace These are good for beginner students or…

Fun improvisation exercise

Today my mid-level 2 group came in and we started with a playlist check. I had them choose Level 4 songs and play something that sounded like the song name. One got Lullaby, so he played Night Storm in the upper register of the piano really softly. For Deep River, the student improvised a "river" on the black keys with the pedal down. For Squidgies, the student played a blues song and the other students improvised…

Showing articles 1-10 of 65