Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Naomi O'Brien. Naomi resides in Wales and has created an innovative piano footstool. We corresponded a bit and in the end, I thought a brief interview with Naomi was something that would benefit teachers. You can read that interview and learn more about her footstool, SoleMate when you read It Starts with a Strong Base.
Play to Learn: Let's Play! By Michael Katz
Long time readers of The Piano Bench Mag will be familiar with Michael Katz as he writes a column each month on improvising. I first talked to Michael several years ago when he called me after hearing a segment I did with Andrea Dow on improvising. He was working on a project to teach teachers how to teach their students to improvise and he was looking for someone to bounce ideas off of. His original project, Freescaling, has grown over the years and Michael just released a revised version of the program. You can learn more about Freescaling and Michael's background when you read his longer than usual column this month, Play to Learn: Let's Play. If you have the desire to add teaching improv skills to your studio but still do not know where to start, Freescaling is something you will want to take a look at, especially since Michael makes trying Freescaling risk free.
To Make Something New...
Given that improvisation is tied to creativity, it is really not surprising that different teachers approach the task of teaching improvisation in often very different ways. Lyndel Kennedy, a teacher in Australia, has developed a unique approach to teaching students as young as preschool age, to explore the keyboard and let their musical creativity come out. She shares some thoughts on innovation and shares a bit about her program, Play a Story, in her article 'To Make Something New...'
The Piano Edge - Destination Training for the Piano Teacher
Had you ever wished you could combine a vacation to an exotic locale and some fantastic training? That is now possible! Learn more from Cathy Hirata in The Piano Edge - Destination Training for the Piano Teacher.
Notes with Nick
Nick Ambrosino brings some holiday advice in Notes with Nick this month and discover a tasty soup recipe in Recipe Roundup this month.