The Seven Deadly Performance Sins

Posted On January 24, 2016

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A successful performance is not about the mistakes. It’s about the whole”show”.

Preach What You Practice

7 deadly sins picAll sorts of things can go wrong in a performance. A cockroach can scuttle across your pedalling foot (this has happened to me). The music may fall off the stand (this has happened to me). A blood blister on your cuticle may burst during a glissando (you guessed it, this has happened to me).

But no matter what happens, as they say, ‘the show must go on’. What is the reason for this? Why do you have to keep going no matter what?

Because it’s not about you. It’s about the audience, and their enjoyment of the music you are playing. As a performer, it’s your job to make sure their enjoyment is not interrupted.

So here are, in my opinion, the Seven Deadly Performance Sins:

1.   Drawing attention to mistakes

If you say ‘oh sorry’ while you’re playing, or start again, or suddenly slow down during a performance, the…

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Music as Medicine

Posted On December 26, 2015

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“Music boosts the body’s immune system and is more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before a surgery…  “I think the promise of music as medicine is that it’s natural and it’s cheap and it doesn’t have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do,” said Daniel Levitin” Read more of this interesting article HERE

Season’s Greetings

Posted On December 24, 2015

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May you and your family have a very…


and a Healthy 2016!

Recipe for Success: The first 6 months of piano lessons

Posted On December 18, 2015

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Diary of a Piano Mama

1. Timetable practice into your daily schedule

Nothing but nothing but nothing (but nothing) will replace actual time spent on the piano, each day.

With any luck your child will have a lovely time spending 30 mins each week with a piano teacher – piano teachers are notoriously lovely people, after all. If you have chosen the right piano teacher who chooses the right piano method for your child, your child is bound to have fun and look forward to going along to lessons each week.

Any student is likely to be able to move along and progress through a method book just by playing once or twice each week – it’s not rocket science, after all.

However, no one is born with “piano hands.” And prodigy is developed and nurtured – not some kind of divine blessing.

If you have decided to make the investment in piano lessons…

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Gift Ideas

Posted On December 4, 2015

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Give the gift of music! 

Trying to find the perfect present for the musician on your list?  There are always interesting and fun musically themed gifts available.  What about…….

Gift Certificates
for music lessons, digital uploading, music books, recording time, music instruments, music store….
Music Bag…
is handy to keep organized and protects books transportation to the lesson.  Children are
proud to have a “special” bag for their music books. 
Music Stand 
great to hold music books for singers and guitarists.
Pilates Resistance Bands: This is a great way to activate the lower abdominals while singing.  Latex bands are a great way to stretch and do light Pilates exercises and core muscle training.  They are also helpful in developing low support (needed when sitting down for any length of time.)
MP3 Player: For voice and other performance recording.  Some also record video.  These are useful to “bring the lesson home”!
– earrings, bracelets, pins and more.
Pens, Pencils, Erasers, Rulers
Guitar Picks (and or Pick Holder)
Music CD’s for any instrument.  Karaoke is useful for vocal students.
Music Books (of course)
Hal Leonard publisher has a wonderful choice.
Music World has many in stock and will order what they don’t have.
A special song book will bring renewed interest to practicing.
There are several choices available, all graded to correspond to the level in which the student is currently in.  Choose from Folk, to Popular, to Classical or Jazz and Rock’n Roll.
Voice Books
These books come with their own CD to play and sing along with.
-Folk Songs For Solo Singers
-Sacred Solos For All Seasons
-Easy Solos For Begining Soprano
-Church Solos For Kids
-Great Songs From Musicals For:
      1. Kids
      2. Teens
      3. Young Men
-Christmas Solos For Kids
-Kids Stage And Screen
-Solos For Kids
-Soprano Classical Contest Solos
-Contemporary Theatre Songs
-Musical Theatre Classics
-Standard Ballads
-Solos From Musicals For Kids
-Favorite Wedding Classics

Just Keep Singing!

Posted On October 24, 2015

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SingHave you ever been told that your voice is terrible?  How hard was that to hear?  Science has proven that a voice is just like any other instrument.  The more that you practice, the better you’ll be!  Have a look at this link for further info.

Tips to Arrive Prepared for a Music Lesson

Posted On August 19, 2015

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Mother and Children Waiting for a School Bus --- Image by © Jim Craigmyle/Corbis

It’s that time of year again.  Time to transition form the carefree summer holidays to the new schedule of school.  Mornings are rough in every household.  Sometimes students come to their lessons with it all – every music book needed – as well as their assignment book!  And, other times they arrive wrinkled and with no books.

It’s possible to train your troops to work in tandem for a smooth, synchronized morning. It will definitely help them to have an organized and smooth progress in their studies.

1. Prep the Night Before
The key to morning efficiency is in what you can do ahead of time.

Establish a morning routine for your kids, and encourage them to check their backpacks before bedtime to make sure homework and books are packed – especially music books the night before their lesson day.  Perhaps have them put an alarm on the calender of their MP3 player or phone.

2. Reward Consistency + Practice
It’s really tough to get yourself ready while trying to get someone else ready, too. One strategy is to get up a half hour before your kids, but there’s another way: make it into a game!

Announce to your children that whoever’s ready for the school bus gets a sticker on a “morning routine chart.”  Once they’ve reached five stickers, reward them with a small but irresistible prize — like music control in the car for the week!

3. Bundle Books
Prevent the panic of being halfway out the door only to realize you have no idea where all of the books are. Put all essential items in the same spot every time that they are finished. It’s preferable to have a special bag to keep the books in whenever not actively using them.  This keeps them all together and handy for “grab and go” when they were unfortunately forgotten in the previous night’s backpack check.

iPad/Pod Music Apps

Posted On August 8, 2015

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Jennifer Bailey has a wonderful list of music iPod/Pad apps that she uses in her classroom.  They are graded for K-2 and 2-3 students.  The apps are also grouped in uses such as Games, Listening, Notation, Recording & Mixing Apps.  You may find the full list and links here.

Musical Dialogue

Posted On June 8, 2015

Filed under Rhythm, Uncategorized
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Echo of Rhythmic patterns.  Try it out!

Musical Dialogue.

I Make My Children Do Music (VIDEO)

Posted On June 1, 2015

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Great thoughts on a child’s music practice and how to motivate them.

Sara's Music Studio

ChildsHandsPianoLessonImagine this… it’s the very beginning of Tommy’s piano lessons. He’s 8 years old and totally psyched about learning to play the piano. He practices constantly, without reminders, and with gusto.

Fast forward a bit… Tommy is 10 years old and practice is starting to wane. He’s involved in more activities, which makes practicing piano difficult to schedule, and it’s starting to become a struggle between Tommy and his parents. After a fight about practicing, Tommy tosses his piano book to the floor and yells the dreaded phrase… “I just want to quit!”

Don’t worry, parents… you’re not alone in this fight. This morning I came across a great video from Scott Lang, a nationally known leadership trainer and music educator. Check it out:


“We make decisions each and every day in what’s not only the best interest of our children right now, but in the…

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