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Making Online Lessons Simple

I promised I'd send online ideas that make it SIMPLE for beginning onliners. I've been doing this for a while now. It is particularly helpful I find for kids in groups online. It helps the lesson get off to a flying start at that typically clunky online beginning of lesson with lining the technology up. It covers the super important LTR, PL and checking NOTES from previous week without saying a word. What I have in…

No Closure with Discontinuation

Although we are super pleased we have such high retention rates due to lots of long term conversations, recently we are finding (within the last year or so) that people are tactfully avoiding 1. Talking to us about issues or things they are confused about or questions they may have so that we can have a conversation with them 2. Any talk or thoughts of cancellation until a written notice has already been turned in 3.…

Students Emotional at Lesson

I have found quite a few of my students are very emotional at lessons. When that happens, lessons are a bit of stressful for me sometimes. Do you have similar experience? My own children (now grown) never exhibited this sort of behaviors when they were young. I feel I am lacking the skills to manage it. How is the emotion displayed? Tears? Outbursts? Defiance? I had a group of 5 boys…

Student with Two Functioning Fingers

The 12 year old son of an adult student of mine would love to take piano lessons. He can already play the violin and has a great ear, able to figure out how to play songs he hears on the piano. However, due to a medical condition, he only has use of his thumb and pointer finger on his LH. I believe his RH is fully functional however may have some stiffness to it. I've seen…

Student Resists Walking SDQ

One of my private adult students had agreed to start RR but when I did the first exercises with her (walking with SDQ's) she told me she did not feel comfortable as she feels this is more suitable for children. I told her I have other adults doing this and totally comfortable with it. She said she already has a good sense of rhythm and does not have to do these walking (or foot tapping) exercises.…

Stool for Young Students

Those of you who teach very young children (age 5-6), do you use a special kind of stool for them that is different from what older students or adults use? I have 2 piano stools, the one I use for very little children is a bit higher so that their lower arm can be parallel to the ground and not having to reach up. I got it at a piano store. But the little ones usually…

Nervous at Lesson, Perfect at Home

I’m sensing my own impatience lately with some of my adult students! I also feel like I’ve been getting lots of “I’m nervous” and “it was perfect at home” from them. Maybe it’s just me... I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I’m just feeling frustrated right now I guess. It is great to not only have these thoughts but more so, to be questioning them. Frustration is another door to…

Acknowledging Recital Performances

Today we had a recital. I always struggle with what to say after each student has played their song. Everyone is clapping, then I pop back up again to introduce the next performer. I say "that was great" then the next student I'll say "that was really good" etc. I feel awkward and uncomfortable when I say that after each student. Today I said nothing after each performance and just introduced the next one - I…

Two Lessons Per Week

One of my new private adult students (she is practicing diligently, LOVES SM, her playlist so far is very strong) wants to switch from having one (half-hour) lesson per week to two (half-hour) lessons weekly (several days apart) because she is eager to make even faster progress though she is very happy with what she already has gained. I love her enthusiasm but am a bit concerned it could be information overload if we do 2…

Gateway Appropriate

How would I decide whether a student would learn reasonably well using the classic Simply Music approach, or whether he & I should invest in the Gateway program? I don't think you can really know until you start. It's always safe to start with Gateway. Then, if the student is moving quickly you can start incorporating some of the regular Simply Music approach. That's what I've done with a new student.…

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