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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…

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.…

Students Wants to Limit Assignments

How would my expert teachers out there manage a student who was absolutely adamant that they should only have 1 NEW song to practice each week. Regardless of if they get it easy or not; how can I correct this limiting belief in their psychology if it all? This is a case of Claiming Territory. If you don't claim it back, it will always be something with this student. I'd start…

Webinar Series: 02/15/2019 – Gateway – Skills & Mindset of a Successful Gateway Teacher

Teaching students with profound special needs is a different experience than teaching typical students. Karen discusses this in relation to goals and expectations, your own confidence, and dealing with parents' expectations. Topics include: Introduction (00:05) Teacher Temperament (04:18) Readiness to Progress (10:11) Visually Impaired Students Learning Tactilely (14:08) Teacher Expectations & Flexibility (19:48) Relating to Parents (30:20) Helpful Books on the Autism Spectrum (38:31) Teacher History & Meeting with Parents (40:16) Persisting with Very Slow Progress (46:02) Click through the…

Dealing with mother wanting teacher to be more strict

I need some help or suggestions form those of you who have experience in teaching autistic children. I started recently with my first autistic student (6-year-old boy), and I really love him. He can be quite fun and funny at times! He is verbal and from the start he was willing to come to the piano. There was some resistance in the last two classes, perhaps because of him struggling to understand and do the next…

Strategies to help an anxious student

One of my students is a six-year-old boy who has confidence problems to the point that when he thinks something looks too hard, he gets anxious and teary and refuses to try. Last week when I demonstrated Dreams Come True, it took a whole five minutes for mom and me to coax him into doing anything. He just buried his head and walled off. Does anyone have suggestions? Should I put off demonstrating and launch into…

Webinar Series: 06/15/2018 – Gateway – Music Stories from Karen’s Studio

In this webinar Karen shares videos of her teaching her own students with learning disabilities and discusses their stories and their successes with the Gateway program. Introduction (00:05) Student Video 1: Nikos (00:43) Student Video 2: Rick (09:35) Student Video 3: Eytan (22:28) Student Video 4: Jewels (29:37) Student Video 5: Shane (37:34) Teacher Question: Student with Cerebral Palsy (40:37) Click through the video to hear Karen discuss the previously stated topics.

Parents requesting discounted lessons

I started to work with a student who has cerebral palsy. Tova is an amazing person and student but does have a lot of challenges, as well as in the class. Because of her many issues, the 30-minute lesson can easily extend longer than that but we are learning to finish in the half hour. When the family first started, I offered them a discount for one term, as for me music is important and I…

Webinar Series: 04/20/2018 – Gateway – Improving Fine Motor Function at the Piano

Karen discusses some very common fine motor challenges in students with special needs and ways in which teachers can address them in the Gateway curriculum, and addresses teacher questions about some of their students’ fine motor issues. Topics include: Typical Fine Motor Issues (00:05) Fine Motor Challenges Addressed in Gateway (8:43) Teacher Questions: Crossing the Midline – Finger Isolation (13:05) Finger Exercises (22:21) Trouble with Finger Isolation (33:05) Students with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome (40:53) Click through the video below…

Showing articles 1-10 of 62