Learning to write ‘Found’ Poetry

I had a really lovely time at a workshop on ‘Found’ Poetry this December. The workshop was conducted by Ankita Shah, co-founder of The Poetry Club, at G5A, Mumbai. We worked on two different kinds of found poetry – Blackout Poetry and Cento Poetry. It was a lot of fun! Interesting to see how different theContinue reading “Learning to write ‘Found’ Poetry”

Book Review : The Art of Piano Fingering

The Art of Piano Fingering by Rami Bar-Niv is a wonderfully detailed exploration of piano fingering. It’s become my textbook for when I get stuck with fingering and need to study it in relation to playing technique, hand size and the kind of effect that a passage of piano music requires the pianist to produce.

Parent support in piano class

Parent support for piano practise with young piano students is a huge issue. With teachers, because they know the likelihood of any student actually progressing beyond the beginner level depends on this. Even the musically talented student.

For piano parents it’s time and commitment and something more for them to add to their already busy schedules.

A quick easy fix for focus issues

These children come to piano class and learn the theory and technique that’s necessary to play a piece. Then the piece starts to sound good to them as it’s kind of put together from beginning to end. So, they then start to practise by repetition, mind shut to such an extent, that they have totally forgotten the theory and technique (though they play correctly). They’re totally blank and can’t answer basic theory questions. They can’t even recall what was taught earlier – even simple basic stuff.

15 easy steps for students, to a really effective piano class

Sometimes piano teachers have those days. And we need to decide whether to have a good laugh or scream at the walls after our students leave. I’ve decided to laugh at all the crazy things my piano students do…

How to assess your own piano playing

A guide for intermediate to advanced piano students who have learned their piece and want to be able to assess the quality of their playing on their own, with guidance from their teacher. Getting rid of mistakes You should have learned your piece correct from the very first. However, it is likely that you stillContinue reading “How to assess your own piano playing”

Aiming low = reaching high?

 The tried and tested path to success “Aim higher than you want to reach. You may miss your target, but you will still reach your original goal” This way of thinking has worked very well for me and many of my  piano students who wanted sucess easy. Who wanted to do just barely enough thatContinue reading “Aiming low = reaching high?”

Can you Learn On Your Own?

Young beginner students who understand and learn, generally start coming to class within a month or two, having learned an new easy piece on their own. Students with learning difficulties, poor exposure to education or discipline issues take longer. However, even with these students, there will be visible signs of comprehension and a slow growth in learning independence over time.

When focus is a problem in piano class

A brief glimpse of the teacher’s struggle The piano teacher points to a note and asks the student to name it. The student answers wrong repeatedly. When this child is asked to point out the note he/she is talking about, it becomes clear that the student know his/her stuff, but is just not able toContinue reading “When focus is a problem in piano class”

What do piano teachers ‘DO’?

“You teach the piano?  That’s wonderful!  What do you do with the rest of your time?” Many piano teachers hear variations of this. From friends, relatives and even parents of new students, who think piano teaching happens just at class time. They see the joy that a teacher feels when students do well, and don’tContinue reading “What do piano teachers ‘DO’?”

Teaching parents the value of struggle – and how it’s helping

When parent support turns into spoon-feeding Young beginner level piano students need their parents to be involved, So they practise daily Read their homework book, understand, and following instructions. Develop independence as they grow older and learn to practise on their own. Unfortunately, parents often use this time to show their child what is correct,Continue reading “Teaching parents the value of struggle – and how it’s helping”

What your piano fees pay for

Parents often think that piano teaching is just a 1 hour class once a week for the teacher. Here’s a print from a brochure I keep handy, for parents of all new students to read….It helps parents see that the piano teaching is a ‘profession’ as well as a vocation for the teacher – asContinue reading “What your piano fees pay for”

Learning goals change over time and piano parents need to expect it

“But my child achieved this level of playing and learning last year, and you said it was excellent….this year you say it’s not good enough.” This is something many piano teachers will hear from parents, and it can be the cause of a lot of discord when parents want progress in piano class, but don’tContinue reading “Learning goals change over time and piano parents need to expect it”

Is piano class fun?

My answer to that is Yes and No. Yes Because young children learn rhythm and scales while doing a lot of fun activities. Every young child has heard do, re, mi, etc, in ‘The Sound of Music,’ so learning to play scales is exciting for the young piano student (see What practising scales is goodContinue reading “Is piano class fun?”

What practising scales is good for..

7 reasons why scales are an essential part of learning to play the piano…. Understanding the ‘key’ of a piece of music Exercising each and every finger Developing strength and agility of the fingers Hand coordination Playing scales in different ways can be used to improve rhythmic ability Developing a good tone Developing focus –Continue reading “What practising scales is good for..”

4 reasons why your family’s lucky if you’re a lousy cook

Some of my women friends are stuck. They’re amazing cooks & they were just so good at it, that other family members stopped taking turns with cooking. They loved cooking & took pains to cater to differing tastes, by cooking a wide variety of dishes at every meal. 

Getting your child to the piano at practise time

Young piano students generally don’t practise unless there’s supervision. They need help with scheduling practise and they also need daily reminders to practise. Here are a few effective and not so effective ways that parents handle the daily reminders. Tell my children to practise and they will do it on their own Most parents whoContinue reading “Getting your child to the piano at practise time”

Mixed feelings

May 2015 : Mixed feelings as I stop teaching in Bandra I miss my lovely lot of students there and yet, I’m feeling the relief… now that I don’t have to do that crazy commute that took a good 5 hours out of each day. I’m looking forward to taking on more students in Khargar,Continue reading “Mixed feelings”