musical reflections



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The Best Pedal Extender

One of the best investments I have ever made for my piano studio has been my pedal extender

If you are not familiar with what that is, it is a wooden box with springs that connect your piano's pedals…

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Recital Program Themes

Do you need a theme for your next recital? Or maybe you just want to mix things up a bit…beyond the usual chronological or leveled order? Try some of these ideas:

  1. Melodic Exposition. Choose pieces with a strong or memorable…
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What Key is it in?

How do you figure out what key you are playing (or singing) in?

Often a piece will begin or end on the tonic, or the “home” note of a scale. A scale is an arrangement of pitches, or notes, that…

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Fun with Rhythm Playing Cards

Are you a card player? I grew up in a family that loved playing cards. In fact, we have a family version of Gin Rummy that we call “Dummy Rummy” and we play it so often that my kids find…

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Troubled Water

I am preparing Margaret Bonds' "Troubled Water" for performance at the Katherine L. White Invitational, and in doing so I have been reflecting on the words of the spiritual she quotes in the work:

Wade in the water,
Wade in…

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Note Reading Games

After you have introduced note names, it is time to practice! Flashcards are a good start, but how about a new game with a SURPRISE element?

Staff Explosion is a brand new game that helps you teach and review note…

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Piano Lesson Planning

How many times do you finish teaching lessons, only to sit down to plan for next week – and you have forgotten what each student is working on?! I am always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. Being…

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