We all know that clean, crisp movements work best on stage. But they can be intimidating to practice, leading to the bent elbows and small, half-hearted gestures we teachers know and loathe. If we were to develop a studio culture of intentional movement and creative exploration, I wonder: would our students begin to see themselves as naturally rhythmic people? Would they develop a greater sense of spatial awareness? Would they carry themselves--on stage and off--with more grace and confidence?Read More
"A lesson for a young student looks different from a traditional lesson...with very young musicians the goal is creative play rather than traditional voice study."
Music educator and Guest Blogger, Christin Coffee Rondeau shares 10 fun ideas to engage the little (little) singers! (because they are ready for voice lessons!)
Assertive communication isn't about being rude. It is a style of communication that is professional and healthy. If you are a music teacher who is overwhelmed by the parent teacher relationship - This post is for you.Read More
Practicing is a challenge for all music students. For beginner voice students there are some issues unique to the singing instrument that can be holding them back. Here are five situations that often prevent our students from singing at home. (With easy strategies to help them get to work!)Read More
It’s April - but summer is just a few months away. If you haven’t started planning your amazing summer teaching schedule – you may find yourself with a Swiss cheese schedule (holes everywhere – get it?)
With some creative planning, your summer schedule can be full of new opportunities (and new students!)
Finding great songs for your singing students can be time consuming and frustrating. We are compiling a list on this blog post with YOUR ideas. Share your favorite tunes and check out the other ideas listed here!Read More
When instructing our students to make corrections when singing/playing we need to be mindful of the language and wording we are using. More importantly, we need to be watching our students carefully to see if our instruction is actually being understood and implemented. Often an instruction is given and yet nothing changes. Did they hear you? Did they understand the instruction? Are they in the room but not really “in the room”? Here's one, simple yet effect word that can make a big difference! (No, it's not please)Read More
Whether you are teaching private, classroom or choral music – you will have the challenge of working with shy singers. Some singers just need kind words of encouragement. Some of them need a whole lot more – but they are worth it! Shy singers are ready for singing lessons and they are an important part of your chorus. These quiet young singers have beautiful voices just waiting to be discovered. How do we help little voices grow into big voices?Read More
Private music teachers/private music lessons compete with other after school programs and the competition is intense! Sports, Dance, Arts, Clubs...There are so many activities... How do you ensure that families make music lessons a priority in their busy schedules?Read More
Technical studies are a hard pill to swallow for most music students - no matter the age or instrument. For some vocal students, technical exercises can be quite mysterious (what is up with those lip trills?). For shy students, some vocal warm ups can be embarrassing ("I love when my voice cracks!" said no one ever…).
How can we help them discover their voices and have fun...Read More
If you are a private music teacher you need to have an updated and well written teaching bio. Whether it is for your website, blog or social media outlets, how you tell the world about you and your business is extremely important. Here are the NEW rules for one of your most important marketing tools!Read More
I received a beautiful ball point pen from a graduating student this year. I was so excited – I LOVE pens and I haven’t stopped using it! It writes beautifully. It makes a lovely sound on the paper. (Yes! – the sound of pen on paper is more appealing than the sound of my keyboard clicking!)
At first, I thought it was a delightfully unusual gift, but I did some research and I found that quality pens and beautiful notebooks are making a HUGE comeback. Taking notes by hand is now a very trendy thing and people of all ages are enjoying writing with pen and paper.
More resources for Music Teachers
And this is a good thing because...
There are many benefits to writing with pen and paper.
Taking hand written notes helps us retain information. We have known for years that writing on paper helps us to remember 30-40% more information. Recent research on taking notes by laptop compared to longhand concluded that the slowness of writing by hand increases conceptual understanding, application and retention.
How it helps our students
It makes sense (to me) that writing exercises are very helpful for our music students. Aren’t they always in a rush? ( I blame hectic lifestyles, texting, apps and computers for this.) They speak/read aloud/play/sing at breakneck speeds. Writing by hand makes them S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and put more thought into the writing activity. This is why we incorporated more writing exercises in the 3rd Edition FULL VOICE Workbooks!
I encourage my singers to write instructions (pencil only!) in their music too. You may notice that students will ask more questions when they write in the lesson. When a student asks questions – they are engaged in your lesson. Hooray!
Next time – The beauty of Pen on Paper (and how it helps the music teacher!)
WILL THEY BE RETURNING IN THE FALL?
It is not wise to assume that because a student did really well in their lessons that they will automatically continue in the fall. Kids change. Schedules change. Family finances change. Music Teachers compete with other music teachers – and every other after school program and activity too! Families have so many fun and stimulating programs available to them. Will they be choosing your teaching studio?
The challenge: Successful Music recitals are a lot of work and sometimes can go unappreciated by busy families who are eager to enjoy the warm weather. Recitals can also be very stressful for anxious students or students who are new to performing. (stressed out student = stressed out family.) How can you make your recital an event that everyone is excited about?Read More
When I ask my student David how things are going, he always replies “Great”. When I ask him how his repertoire is coming along, he says “yeah – pretty good!” When I ask him what song he needs help with he says, “I think they are all fine”. But when I asked him to perform all pieces in the studio from memory the other day – it wasn't great, good or even fine.Read More