It’s about Motivation (even with a Fancy-Schmancy name)

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in motivation

I just love it when I discover that I’ve doing something that really has a ‘fancy-schmancy’ name.  Somehow, I feel validated…dare I say, important?   What I’m talking about is called the “Self-Determination Theory.” It was coined by two psychologists,  Richard Ryan and Edward Deci. I promise not to toss a bunch of esoteric psycho-theory […]

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 […]

Rewards…Going beyond $$$

Posted 1 CommentPosted in behavior, parents, practice, rewards, student

re·ward rəˈwôrd/ noun –  a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement. I recently spoke at a teacher training course at an Arts School.   Of course, the age-old question popped up:  “How do you get kids to practice?”   “Yup, there it is,” I thought to myself.   Really, I don’t have […]

Say It! Being real meets being kind.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in feedback, life, parents

Me: “What goals would you like to work towards? What do you need to improve upon?” Susie Student: “I’m pretty good at everything.” Me: “But what would you like to do even better?” Susie: “I don’t know… what do you think I don’t do very well?” Me:.… awkward silence… and then realizing I feel very […]

It Takes Two…Generations

Posted 1 CommentPosted in commitment, parents

So you are not a musical parent?  No worries.  As a parent, are you overwhelmed with all the things I might take for granted of you along the way?  I understand.  As time passes, you’ll become an expert at supporting your child’s music education. But, until then, here are 10 absolute basics to keep in […]

Raw. Real. Unfiltered…Thoughts on Performance

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in fear, perfection, performance, practice, self worth

I hate performing.  No, scratch that.  I really like to perform but it scares the {expletive} out of me.  There I said it.  I’m not good enough.  Someone will judge me.  After all, I should be a flawless pianist.  I’m a teacher aren’t I? The Back Story There’s always a back story, huh?  Here’s mine. […]

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 […]