H.B.P.H.D.: True Confession

Posted Leave a commentPosted in improvisation, lesson, lessons, pop music, student

True Confession: In the past, I have suffered from HBPHD:  Happy Birthday Public Humiliation Disorder.  I have been asked to play Happy Birthday in public settings only to be totally humiliated by not knowing what to do without a piece of music in front of me.  NO MORE! I am committed this year to not letting that happen to […]

Where? will music find your child.

Posted 1 CommentPosted in lessons, life, parents, practice, student

I was a kicker.  No, girls weren’t allowed to play football in the 80’s, nor did my rural school in Kansas didn’t offer soccer.   But, as a little girl, I distinctly remember sitting at the piano bench.  I wore a handmade dress and black patent leather Mary Janes, knee socks to match.  My long […]

So, He Wants to Quit…

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in frontal cortex, lessons, parents, passion, quit, self worth, student, studio, teens

“We taking a ‘break’ from piano lessons.”  Note:  ‘break’ is code word for ‘quit’. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” This is my head and heart’s reaction when I hear these words from a parent whose child is giving up on piano lessons before I am ready to give the student up.  You see, as a teacher, it’s *all about […]

Knock, Knock. Is Nancy NeverPractice Home?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, lessons, parents, practice, student

I hated to practice. I’m not proud of it, but I gouged deep scratches in our burgundy spinet, thanks to sharp, low-heels on my Mary Janes, and a good, swift kick. I could throw a youngest-child tantrum with the best of them. You see, I’m from a long line of tenacious women. A less-kind description […]

The Practice PACT: it’s a lot like life.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in lessons, life, parents, practice, student

Have you ever made a pact with yourself, only to find that a few weeks later you have broken it already? How about that New Year’s diet resolution? Or, remember that exercise faze you started before Spring Break, and then fell out of last summer? Exercise is one habit, however, that I have not broken […]

Practice 101: Scrapping it All.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in genre, lessons, life, practice

A few weeks ago I penned the article I intended to post today. This morning, however, I scrapped it all.  I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel right.  It didn’t fit me; it didn’t fit my style. Sometimes, music is like this.  No matter how much I would like a student to learn a particular […]

Practice 101: Consistency & Responsibility

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in lessons, parents, practice, responsibility, student

I pillow my head at night with visions of students willingly practicing for hours at a time, each and every night. That’s right.  I’m dreaming. You may have heard it said, “Practice is a lonely task.” “A little encouragement goes a long way.” “Parents:  your role is to be present physically, mentally, emotionally as beginners […]

So He’s in it Only for the drums

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in band, blog, instrument, lessons, parents, student

About six years ago, a little boy entered my studio with this goal, and only this goal. Drums. He wanted to play drums.  Today he is one of my brightest and most promising young piano students. And yes, today he plays the drums in his school band. In my mind, it is perfectly acceptable for […]

The Teacher Interview

Posted Leave a commentPosted in lessons, parents, student, studio

Have you ever had the luxury of choosing your child’s classroom teacher?   Have you gone to great lengths to investigate personalities, teaching styles, and experience of said teacher? Now, let’s think about this … if you had the luxury of choosing an ‘arts’ instructor for your child, and most of the time you do, […]

Piano Lessons: Basic Training

Posted Leave a commentPosted in instrument, lessons, parents, student

So your child comes to you and asks, NO BEGS, to take piano lessons. After you pick yourself up off of the floor, you gush, “Of course, honey, whatever you like.” Besides, you’ve heard so much about the benefits of playing the piano, and perhaps you’ve even had the joy of playing an instrument yourself. […]