Category Archives: Learning

41/60 The “Father Christmas” scale

When I’ve young piano pupils learning their scales at this time of year, I sell them D major as “The Christmas Scale”. Yes, I know, offering a scale as a Christmas Treat might not seem to be totally in the … Continue reading

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40/60 Is this a Music Lesson?

One of my various employers has a policy of observing all their teachers at work every year. Not a bad idea… except if they were to observe me teaching one of my young piano pupils (eleven years old) I might … Continue reading

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30/60 Happy Birthday to me

It isn’t my birthday just yet, but I am teaching ALL my piano and keyboard students to play “Happy Birthday” at the moment. Preferably from memory, as part of my “Active Repertoire” project. Easy-Peasy, for beginners who know the letter … Continue reading

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29/30 Teaching with a torch

I had a “light-bulb” moment the other day, when I was teaching a young lad who is good at playing by ear, but is finding reading the notes on the music hard work by comparison. This pen-torch happened to be … Continue reading

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24/60 Using “this” to teach “that”

I’m currently teaching a whole class year 3 classical guitar group. https://makemusiceveryday.com/category/social-learning/ That’s 30 children, sitting on chairs in three rows in the school hall, each encumbered by what looks like a guitar the size of a baby whale balanced … Continue reading

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24/60 The Benefits of Teaching by Numbers/Letters

What!?! I hear you cry. Wasn’t the last post a diatribe against exactly this idea? Err, but nothing is quite as black and white as it seems. For example, teaching little five-finger warm ups (here I am wearing my pianist … Continue reading

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95/100 Scales – Start at the top

Here’s a thing; Suppose the brain is like a battery, that runs out of energy when it is used; When your student is playing a scale, especially if it is a new one, (and I’m talking piano here because that’s what … Continue reading

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94/100 Memorization

A blog I follow is www.bulletproofmusician.com, written by Noa Kageyama. I used to be a great natural memoriser. My first piano teacher used to insist on learning all piece hands separately, in minute detail, before putting the hands together, and … Continue reading

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