How to Practice Anything (especially the piano)

This blog post by a fellow piano teacher is wonderful, I can say that her advice here is invaluable. (Beta-tested it this summer.) 😉

This is wonderful reading for not only parents, but for older students, too. And piano teachers!

Here is the link. You can also download it here as a PDF to print it out to read it again and again.

How to Practice Anything
by Regina Ngo

How to Practice Anything

Regina Ngo
Regina’s Music Studio, S. Pasadena, CA
Website: http://rmslearning.me

Students Perform at Shalin Liu in NSPTG Recitals

˙Four students of the Cape Ann Piano Studio performed in a recital as part of the North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Shalin Liu Piano Recitals on Sunday, April 3.
From left to right, Adelaide N., Julie Cleveland, Martina G., and Cat and Addie M.

So proud of my students, they all did a wonderful job! Bravo!

Students of Cape Ann Piano Studio at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.

Students of Cape Ann Piano Studio at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.

My Students Playing at Shalin Liu this Sunday

Four of my students will be performing this Sunday at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, as part of the North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Shalin Liu Piano Recitals.
Piano students from around the North Shore will be performing in three separate recitals; my students will be performing in the 2:30 pm recital, playing pieces by composers Dmitry Kabalevsky and Aram Khachaturian, and contemporary composers Catherine Rollin and Martha Mier.

Details:
North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Shalin Liu Piano Recitals
Sunday, April 3, 2016, Miss Julie’s piano students perform in the 2:30 pm recital (approximately 1 hour)
Recital is free of charge, handicapped accessible.

Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport, MA 01966

Please visit www.rockportmusic.org for info regarding directions and parking; if you’re coming, allow extra time for parking!

The Shalin Liu (the recitals will be during the day though) at night, what a view!

The Shalin Liu at night, what a view!

North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild November Recital for Students

The first of the Guild concerts for the 2015–16 school year is:

Day: Sun. Nov. 15, 2015
Place: Second Congregational Church, 35 Conant St., Beverly 01915 (off Exit 20, headed toward Wenham)
Times: Two afternoon concerts start times TBD (to accommodate all of the teachers’ students, usually a 1:30 and a 2:30 program, each about 45 minutes long)

I encourage my students – of all ages and levels – to participate! Mostly families and friends attend and all the teachers and students are very supportive of one another. Recital is slightly more formal than the one I hold in June; it’s a good opportunity for those students who like the challenge of performing in front of a friendly and enthusiastic audience. 🙂
Students should be well prepared and are encouraged to play pieces from memory but use of music is allowed.
Any students interested in performing will be playing pieces they have already learned well; we will perfect them between now and the concert.

There is an $8 recital fee. Email or call or ask about the concert in the lesson!

The gifts we get from our students…

A few weeks ago a young student currently in love with Tchaikovsky (yes!!), who was learning an arrangement of Theme from Piano Concerto No. 1 from one of her method books, told me she wanted more pieces like this one (yes!!). I picked out an arrangement that I found of Tchaikovsky’s Theme from Romeo and Juliet, a personal favorite symphony of mine. It was all set to go for her lesson. While on my break, waiting for them to arrive, I thumbed through the book I’d found the Romeo and Juliet theme in, and came upon Theme from C Minor Concerto by Rachmaninoff and sightread through it, thinking this is lovely, I’ll play it for her, but she’ll want the Tchaikovsky one, I know.

Wrong! She practically raced to the piano to sightread through it, after I played only the first several measures. She loved it.

After the lesson I looked up orchestra versions on YouTube to send to her to listen to, and this one came up on the top of the list. I had not listened to this concerto in a very long time. Although I had errands to run, I decided to stop what I was doing and take the half hour to listen to this most gorgeous piece of music.

A gift.

A nickel for your thoughts

A few weeks ago I told one of my young female students that she didn’t have to say “I’m sorry” every time  she made a mistake in a piece, or had to start her song over. I told her that as a young girl and later as a young woman, she doesn’t have to say “I’m sorry” for everything—I’d just recently read this op-ed article from the New York Times about women and apologizing so it was on my mind.

She smiled and said, jokingly, “Ok, I’m sorry!” and we went back to the lesson. I told her that at the next lesson, she had to give me a nickel for every time she said “I’m sorry.”

At her next lesson, while she was playing, she made a mistake, and out popped “Sorry!” She promptly whirled around on the piano bench, reached into her shorts pocket, and took out a nickel and handed it to me! (I’d forgotten all about the nickel think—old age.) I laughed and put it on the table. She slipped out a couple more I’m sorry’s and gave me two more nickels.

At our last lesson, mistakes and all, she didn’t apologize once! 🙂

nickels