Countdown to a Stellar Holiday Piano Recital

Ho Ho Ho! Countdown to the Holiday Piano Recital!

Holiday piano recitals are great. A time for star students to get up there and show their stuff. A time for parents and grandparents to experience the payoff that comes with all of those lessons and all of that practicing. A time for teachers to see the fruits of their labor.

Then again, recitals are also a time when students are nervous, parents are worried, and teachers…well teachers are just plain stressed out! Especially at Holiday Time. But this doesn’t need to be the case. With some careful planning, holiday recitals actually can be fun. How, you ask? Come on, fasten your seatbelt as we launch into a “Countdown to a Stellar and Stress-Free Holiday Piano Recital.”

T-10 Set a Date

Once you decide you want to have a holiday piano recital, set a holiday recital date. Holiday time can be tricky for a lot of families. Some things to consider when setting a recital date are things like; school exams and school concerts. I also recommend booking a recital a few months in advance in order to give students plenty of time to prepare their music. I know some teachers who have a “Winter Recital” after the Holidays. This is a great option if you find that you are just too pressed during December.

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Still Trying to Please Everyone? Stop it, You Can’t!

I had almost forgotten.

It’s been a little while since I’ve been hit with a dose of negativity. Things have been going pretty well lately. I got a job at a studio I love and I’ve picked up quite a few students in my home studio too. All of them happy. Parents, students, everyone’s been really great! Full of compliments and tidings of goodwill.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday…I got the worst email I have ever received from a parent, ever! (and for me ever is over 30 years).

Here’s what happened.

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Why do We Need a Piano and What Type Should We Get

Students need a piano because they need to be able to practice at home. Learning to play any musical instrument is a big undertaking that depends upon regular lessons and daily practice. It takes practice to understand musical concepts and to acquire the coordination and motor skills it takes to become a pianist.

What Should We Get?

There are basically two types of pianos Acoustic and Digital. First, let’s look at Acoustic Pianos.

Acoustic Pianos are made of wood and have steel strings. An acoustic piano a great choice if you have space in your home to accommodate one and if you can afford it. Concert artists always play on fine acoustic pianos and almost all pianists prefer them. Acoustic pianos need periodic tuning, however, this is a minimal expense. If carefully chosen and properly cared for an acoustic piano is an investment that will last a lifetime.

It is important to know that acoustics pianos vary wildly in price, quality, and condition. In order to be useful for piano practice an acoustic piano must be new or a well maintained pre-owned piano. You must also look for a reputable brand of instrument. Acoustic pianos have over 10,000 moving parts, these parts wear out if not properly maintained. I always recommend that families get help when selecting an acoustic piano. Consult your teacher he/she can certainly point you in the right direction and help with your piano selection.

Digital Pianos

Digital Pianos are electronic instruments. Digital pianos have a full set of 88 weighted keys. The weights inside the keys make these instruments feel more like acoustic pianos when playing. They also have an assortment of different sounds and computer interface capabilities.

Digital Pianos have improved greatly in price and quality over the past 20 years. In my opinion, a good quality digital piano with its own case and bench for proper seating is a good option for families that do not have space and budget for an acoustic piano. Digital pianos also vary in price and quality so please consult your teacher before purchasing a digital piano.

Keyboards

Keyboards are not pianos and are not acceptable for piano practice. They do not sound or feel like a piano and practicing on a keyboard will be discouraging and foster bad habits. I would also prefer that my students forgo practice on a keyboard and concentrate on the lessons in “First Four Week Before a Piano” rather than practice on a keyboard. In my 30 plus years of teaching, I have seen that keyboards just don’t work. Piano students need pianos.

There are many many affordable options when it comes to getting a piano. You can rent or buy. Some of my students have even received nice pianos from friends or relatives. The bottom line is that the sooner you get a good quality piano the better.

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