Author Archives: Kirsten

A Step in Time Saves Nine

I was teaching ‘finger-swaps’ today in a piano lesson; something along these lines… It was the last lesson of the day, and the young man at the piano had more or less used up all his brain-power for the day. … Continue reading

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Subdividing the Pulse – Movement

One of my piano teachers, the one that taught me through to my Teaching Diploma, was fanatical in demanding accuracy in subdividing the pulse. So much so, that when I heard a subway busker playing Bach on her flute, it … Continue reading

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Questions, questions, answers, answers

The ‘asking questions‘ method that I was using for teaching children to learn, and trying to improve their practising at home, seems to be working. Now, sometimes, in a lesson, I hear the student asking themselves useful questions as we … Continue reading

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My Small Group Beginner Recorders

I’ve a couple of small groups of recorder pupils – two or three in each group – young children aged around seven or eight years old. After talking to other woodwind and recorder teachers and looking through various books, including … Continue reading

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How to Practice for the beginner pianist

This week I have been creating practice charts for many of my beginner students. They are tailored to the age and ability of each students, and how (if?) they are progressing. This example is roughly what I wrote into their … Continue reading

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Bricks – Following a Melody

I’m spending more and more time in lessons with beginners working on identifying ‘steps’ (seconds) and ‘skips’. Reading music becomes much quicker when you don’t go to the trouble of working out the letter name of each note, but merely … Continue reading

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Questions, questions

I was trying to motivate a young pupil to SUCCEED in getting through a line of her piece without being frustrated and over-faced by the size of the task. We were sweating our way through the last line of ‘Train … Continue reading

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Building Chords with Bricks

I’ve been trying to think of an interesting and portable resource to help with uteaching chords and inversions. I never got the hang of these, never ever, until I started learning to harmonise Bach Chorales as part of my teaching … Continue reading

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