Saturday, August 30, 2014

Monthly Wrapup: August 2014

A Few Facts: 

- It's been over 3 years since my last piano lesson.  I want to find a teacher for a 2 month stint.  I could also find some masterclasses to attend at a school of music.

- Film composers often have a motley assortment of projects they've worked on.  Often you can look up the works of your favorite composer and find new ear candy. 

 - Michael W. Smith's Freedom is one of my favorite instrumental albums.  Orchestral, celtic, drama, epic, sweet...

- Weird Al does the greatest parodies.  New album just came out!  You have to watch the music videos.

"From his earliest days as a prodigy in Bonn, Ludwig van Beethoven's great ambition had been to travel to Vienna to meet - and take lessons with - the man he knew was the greatest living composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." Read more.

Awesome thing from this month:  
- I've had seven prospective students with whom I've been chatting or arranging meetings.  Since I only taught ONE lesson this month, I realized how much I would miss it if I got much more of a vacation!  I'd miss the interaction, involvement, relationship, and I'd loose my touch.  Use it or loose it, as I always say.  For all you students/parents who read this, I hope you know that you make my day and add so much zest to my life! :)  Thank you!

To-do's and Goals for this Month: 
- Finish memorizing Finlandia.  I've performed this so many times over the last 4 years that it's almost there, and has almost been there for too long.
- Change my quickly updated cell phone answering greeting - It's many people's first impression of me!
- Speed up the first page of Flight of the Bumblebee - one of the pieces I'm reviewing. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Requirements & "Bad" Students are Worth It

What students or their parents require of me:  

Often it's that I am classically trained, along with teaching ability which I've trained in as well, though it's for you to judge whether I have good rapport with your child. I teach according to your preferences and goals, but do have methods and teaching material which I think are effective in making lifelong successful musicians, both professional and amateur, and would be happy to discuss my ideas.*

What I Require of my Students: 

 All I require is practice and a fair amount of respect.  I don't require great love of music or enthusiasm in practicing, because a lack of those can be overcome. :) Everybody can love music and love practicing (oh yes, like achieving anything, it's a hard but rewarding road). I'm not saying I'm able to conquer any student's dislike of learning piano. I'm only saying, I can teach them.  And maybe, with time and persistence, that hatred can turn to love.

It did for me.

My beloved piano teacher, Dave Clark, always said his most fulfilling teaching moments were when difficult students seemed to turn a new page. He described how many students would crawl along, and then, seemingly out of the blue, it was like the scales fell from their eyes and their musical ability finally came out. Oh, it's a hard wait for a teacher, but the reward is great.  It's worth it.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great & noble.  The world is moved along not by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."
Helen Keller (1880-1968)

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." --Thomas A. Edison

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore..." Statue of Liberty Inscription

"It is better to give than to receive." Bible

*The Three Ways to Play Piano

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Pinterest Board

I love finding neat resources from other musicians and especially music teachers.  Recently, I put this pinterest board on my "save now, read later" list, and today finally looked at it.  Lynnette has a lot of other great music boards, so I'll have lots of fun when I get to my "read later" list!

There are some great free sheet music links here: