For the Love of Music

Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, my thought is just to ask you one question. Who inspired your love of music? Was it a piano teacher? A parent? A recording artist? If you are able to thank that person, do so. They would love to hear that they’ve had an influence on your life.

Success with the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program

Congratulations to Rohan who received a score of First Class with Honors on his Level 4 examination that he took in December.

Rohan looks forward to taking his Level 5 practical and theory examinations. 


Sign up begins tomorrow 1-24-12 for the spring examinations.  It isn’t too late to sign up for lessons and take your first examination this spring.

Schedule a Summer Recital

This weekend is Memorial Day.  The start of summer.  Many students around the country are already out of school and those who aren’t are counting the days.  As teachers we encourage our students to take summer lessons.  Try scheduling a summer patriotic recital to give your students a goal to work towards.  After those spring recitals we run the risk of losing focus.  A fun filled relaxed recital of patriotic music just about fits the bill.  Brunner Studios offers summer piano, voice and oboe lessons.


Here are a few ideas for your patriotic recital

1.  Picnic Style-  If you have the space, have everyone bring blankets and snacks.  Have the audience sit on the floor.  Encourage the families to sing along if they know the song.  Have your older students practice their accompanying and host a sing along.

2.  Red, White and Blue-  Have your students dress in their patriotic best.  Nothing like a theme to bring out that creativity.

3.  Duets and Trios-  If your students have time, let them learn a duet.  There are some great patriotic arrangements out there for 4 hands.


Enjoy your holiday week!

Sight Reading Rhythms

Now that festival season is coming to a close, I hope that I can get my students back on track with their technical exercises and rhythm drills. 

We all know the importance of good counting.  We also know that some students have a natural ability for rhythm and other do not.  Last summer while teaching Piano Artistry Camp at the Charlotte Academy of Music, I discovered that some students who I thought had excellent natural rhythm were really just hard workers. 

At camp, each student had a binder with rhythm drills.  We took turns clapping and counting rhythms.  I had thought that since the students were playing advanced music that they would be able to sight read intermediate rhythms correctly.  Bad assumption on my part.  We went all the was back to elementary level rhythms before they could successful clap and count the rhythms correctly on first sight.  So while the students could correctly learn the more difficult rhythms during the week between lessons, they were struggling on the sight reading front.

My solution to this was to give every student successive sheets of rhythm drills and sight read rhythms each week in their lessons.  The rhythms that they struggled with they practiced over the week at home.  The ones that were sight read correctly got a star sticker.

A good source of counting work sheets is

I would like to review the Rhythm Clapback/Singback series by Boris Berlin and Andrew Markow that is published through Frederick Harris Music.

I have a few of the Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests books and have found those to be useful as well. 

Playing correct rhythms is just as important as playing correct notes.  Our students deserve a strong foundation in this area.