Archive | Musical Monday

Musical Monday is my weekly blog about piano lessons. Teaching music, practicing, performing, music and the brain, composers, composing, repertoire, choosing a piano—basically, many topics related to piano teaching are swirling around in my head non-stop.

These blog posts are for my students, their parents, and anyone with an interest in playing piano. Students of all ages, abilities and skill levels attend “Friend of Music” studio, currently ranging from 5 years old to retirees.

Please join me at your convenience, as past blogs may be found in the Archives. 

May you discover the music that feeds your soul.

The Piano Lesson: Like Preparing a Delicious Meal

Musical Monday ~ by Laura Davis / March 20, 2017

Qualities of a Great Piano Lesson                                                                         

What are the qualities of a great piano lesson? There are many opinions on this. So to begin, let’s think of it this way—what would you need, and like to have available in your kitchen, in order to prepare a delicious meal for your family or friends?

Proper Tools, Fine Ingredients

Do you need cooking appliances in good working order? How about some clean, handy kitchen gadgets and tools? And your ingredients—don’t you want them to be fresh, organic and wholesome? Fragrant and flavorful?

Once you have assembled all the best ingredients, your cooking experience, your careful technique, your creativity and your talent come into play.

A great piano lesson is crafted in much the same way. Start with a fine piano, well-tuned, with lovely tone and a comfortable touch. Our “Friend of Music” piano studio features a Steinway grand.

Some of our favorite tools include:

  • For younger beginners, a pedal extender for balance and comfort
  • Metronome to develop steadier rhythms
  • iPad for teaching moments with exciting, instructive piano apps
  • Piano Maestro app: subscription for every student in our studio
  • Yamaha Clavinova, with headset: for duets, practice apps, and lab activities
  • Laptop for Youtube videos of performance samples
  • Software for teaching composition and arranging (Finale)
  • Repertoire list for choosing music at each student’s skill level
  • Piano Explorer student magazine (monthly composer bios, music history, etc.)
  • Treat Box! Kids are motivated to earn a treat

Fresh and Locally Sourced

Using one of the newest, innovative teaching method series (Piano Pronto—based in California), our beginner lessons progress incrementally with students playing fun, familiar tunes. Facility in reading treble clef notes leads on to the bass clef, progressing to the damper pedal, chords and more. Soon the students begin to digest easy classics and learn the delights of each era of music history. Creative improv adds another flavor to the musical experience.

Practice Makes Perfect

When preparing any recipe, there is an ideal cooking time. We set a timer and let the oven or stovetop do its magic. Thus, with a piece of music there is a necessary period of preparation. The length of this depends on the complexity of the music, as well as the talent and skills of the student. Inevitably our pieces need time to “cook” and we call this “practice”.

Feasting Together

At mealtime, before we eat, we wash up. Entering the kitchen and dining room, we savor the fragrant aromas and take our seat. Similarly, when entering the “Friend of Music” studio every student is greeted with a smile, a cheerful welcome and a glad heart. Student and teacher anticipate a time of sharing music and developing skills.

A Spiritual Expression

Briefly escaping from the cares of our daily routine, we enter the world of music. What has been practiced is refined into a work of art and musicality. Advancing students have likely fallen in love with music. Mere notes on a page become an expression of the inner soul and spirit. Beautiful tone develops and thoughtful dynamics release the essence of each song. Together we savor the flavors and colors of great music, the food of our soul.

 

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Piano Lessons ~ All Levels ~ Express Yourself!

The gift of music endures for a lifetime. Piano study enhances brain development and math/science skills.

  • Teaching Excellence at every level.
    20 + years experience. Member OMTA.
  • Beginners through Advanced ~ Ages 4 to Adult
  • Piano-04bWeekly lessons: 45-minutes = $35 / one hour = $45
  • Specializing in Classical and Christian Worship Piano.  Composition and Improvisation on request. Every lesson tailored to your needs.
  • Piano Lab ~ Arrive 15 minutes early and work on our Yamaha Clavinova (Practice, Compose, or use Apps).
  • Two Recitals a year ~ Play on a 9-foot Concert Grand
  • NEW—Group Lessons to encourage musical collaboration and provide opportunities for informal class coaching, relaxed performances, music games and fun! 
  • Winter Piano Party
  • Students receive monthly issues of Clavier Magazine’s “Piano Explorer” for young people
  • Optional entries in OMTA Festivals & Competitions
  • Optional Annual Syllabus Exams (OMTA)
  • Opportunities to participate in Master Classes with nationally known concert artists and piano professors
  • Our piano Studio ROCKS!

There is nothing like the inner confidence resulting from developing skill at the piano. The joy of making music for yourself and others is only one of the life-long rewards. Young people will learn invaluable lessons in self-discipline, memorization, organization, accuracy, problem-solving, self-expression, artistry, and more!

Become a Friend of Music

Call for available lesson times. Piano will change your life…

~~Laura Davis 503-312-1162 • email me

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