Browsing Tag

sight reading

Don’t Be Perfectly Dumb: Masterclasses Waste Your Time?

Don’t Be Perfectly Dumb: Masterclasses Waste Your Time?

When I started highschool, I had a talented, severe piano teacher.

You know the cliché musicians who moan and bang on the piano in frustration? She was in that crowd.

She held an event every 2 months, mostly masterclasses and performances. Sometimes a performer came in, sometimes the students played for each other.

In the masterclasses, everyone played something. A girl played a Czerny finger exercise once.

This teacher started some massive sadness in my life, but I learned a lot from her. We parted ways because I started crying too often. And she was cheating our money (probably by accident).

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How to Motivate Your Students to Be Great

How to Be Great (At Anything)

You probably have an amazing goal right now.

We all have goals…

But we always say things like:

“I don’t have enough time…” or

“If only I had enough money…”

And we give up on our goals.

Sometimes we get into ruts and we get stuck for a long, long time.

Some of us force ourselves to practice for 10 hours straight until the piano exam, then start to dread practicing.

(Playing the same passage for hours.)

You shouldn’t be forcing yourself to do dreadful things… or dreading what you think you should love.

I’ve come up with a system that’s tried-and-true, and I’m excited to share it with you!

It’s 3 steps, and I first shared it with my students.

It works.

The system works for both piano teachers and piano students: if you’re ready to play your way to your goals, then read on.

If you’re looking to ‘read for fun’ and forget about it afterwards, then this isn’t for you right now—don’t waste my time or yours, please! :)

The 3-Step Goal

Want to play (almost) any piano music, no matter how much time you have or how “good” you are?

Want piano students to practice more, by doing just one thing? (Want to make yourself practice more with just one thing?)

What about read notes more quickly and sight read better?

Here’s the cool thing about the 3-Step Goal:

It works for any goal, piano-related or not.

I’m showing it to you for free.

I use this in my own life and to teach piano.

Click here for the download link.

It’s that powerful, and that awesome.

Yes, free, in exchange that you apply the 3-Step Goal to ONE goal. Just one. That’s all I ask.

I don’t usually share things like this here (publicly– it usually gets sent to my subscribers only), so I’m super excited to see what you come up with!

How to Be Great (At Anything)

Here is the link to download the book.


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Awesome Giveaway + Review: SightReadingMastery

SightReadingMastery Giveaway and ReviewWho doesn’t love sight reading?

Let’s back up:

Who hasn’t struggled with sight reading– teaching or learning?

It’s one of the hardest skills…

But it’s also one of the most important.

That’s where SightReadingMastery comes in.

Today we have an awesome giveaway with SightReadingMastery, a site that wants to help you teach and learn sightreading.

Does it really do the job?

I was pleasantly surprised when Evan, a reader and music teacher from Texas, emailed me about SRM.

He says SRM was created because he wanted to make learning and teaching sightreading easier, and because it’s such an important skill that we struggle with.

Read on to find out if SRM really makes it easier for people to learn and teach sight reading… and enter the giveaway to win a LIFETIME account. (Worth $348/year)

This review is a completely honest account of SightReadingMastery.

Enter the Giveaway for LIFETIME Sight Reading

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Awesome + Uncommon Christmas Sheet Music

Awesome + Uncommon Christmas Sheet Music for Piano

Feel like there’s almost nothing new in Christmas music?

You’re wrong. ;)

If you’re looking for Christmas pieces that aren’t common, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve found these awesome pieces that are now on my to-order list. :D

They’re great for performances, recitals, and personal enjoyment.

If you’re ever perplexed over duplicate Christmas pieces for recitals, these are great alternatives.

The videos are embedded below with the sheet music.

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The 4 Deadliest Practice Mistakes Ever

The Most Deadly Practice Mistakes Ever

We like to think that sitting down at the piano is good.

“Practicing is good.”

We think.

But it’s estimated that 93%+ of pianists don’t know how to practice piano properly.

And about 70%+ of the time they spend at the piano is a waste of time.


Because they don’t know how to practice.

What’s Wrong with “Traditional” Practice?

Play, stumble, and repeat. For hours. Fingers, pull hair.

It’s a waste of time.

And it ruins your technique.

It’s like running. You’ll be slow and awkward if you just move your legs.

To be a fast, efficient runner, you need to shift your weight forward, move your eyes up, propel yourself with your pumping arms, and much more.

Competitive runners have these instincts almost ingrained.

It’s the same with playing piano– playing piano means doing much more than just moving your fingers.

Most of the time, you forget about your other organs and focus just on your fingers.

You’re built on a system; your brain churns, your heart pumps– your hidden organs aren’t working any less than your fingers.

In fact, they’re hidden because they work harder and they’re most important– they need to be protected.

And you need to work with them.

The key to practicing piano is to practice holistically, as a whole person, instead of just with your fingers.

And to use psychology.

Stop wasting time– here are the 4 deadliest practice mistakes ever, and how to fix them.

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“Why Isn’t My Sight Reading Improving?”

You Asked:

I chose a few pieces for my next piano exam (RCM), but they seemed too difficult for me to sight read–so I’ve been practicing with pieces from some of the lower levels, which proved to be challenging for me to sight read.

I understand everything on the music scores but I can’t read and play at the same time– I have to keep looking at my hands to find the correct notes. Three weeks later, I am still below par. Why isn’t my sight reading improving?

— Suzanne T.

You’re not alone!

Sight reading is typically a challenge for pianists.

Read on to see why you’re not improving.

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How to Learn Notes Easily

Knowing the piano keys and musical alphabet isn’t enough– you need to know how to read it on a staff, too.

Learn how to read notes on the staff quickly and easily with these little tricks.

The Clefs

Grand StaffThe five lines form a staff; there are two sets of five lines joined together by a brace on the left– the whole thing is called the grand staff.

On each staff, there is a symbol.

The treble clef, or G clef, is on top.

The bass clef, or F clef, is on the bottom.

  • The treble clef (top) tells you about notes generally above Middle C.
  • The bass clef (bottom) tells you about notes generally below Middle C.

Note reading for the two clefs are different, so make sure you look at the clefs before you begin to sight read.

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