Innovation. It seems to be in our DNA. That constant search for a better way to do something, to teach something, to reach our students. This month we celebrate innovation in our field. There is certainly a place for method books and traditional piano lessons, but more and more teachers are modifying that approach. To be honest, some students need a less traditional approach if they are to progress. Tony Parlapiano is one of those teachers and he shares his teaching journey in Lead By Interest. I first became aware of Tony when he shared a resource in one of the Facebook groups. Be sure to check out his YouTube page for some specific ideas after you read his story!
You Are Invited...
Finally, I am more than pleased to announce PBM's Holiday Cruise! It is so important to take time off to rest and recharge. I find one of the best ways to do that is to get on a cruise ship. There is just something rejuvenating about being out on the ocean, salt air and sunshine are so soothing to the soul. I find cruising is a great family vacation too, you can spend as much (or as little) time as you'd like with other family members with a variety of activities. This year's cruise will be on the beautiful Carnival Breeze sailing out of Port Canaveral (perhaps a quick visit to Disney or Universal Studios could be added to your trip?) and visiting Amber Cove (Dominican Republic), St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk. No conference this time, but there will be plenty of time on board (and perhaps while in port) getting to know other teachers. You Are Invited.... has more details.
Play to Learn: Let's Play - Freescaling
I feel so fortunate to work with a tremendous innovator every month. Michael Katz has one of the most innovative programs I have seen when it comes to introducing improvisation (and a host of other things) to students. Unfortunately I think it is one of the best kept secrets (and resources) in the piano teaching world. So this month, in lieu of his usual column, I asked Michael to introduce you to his program, Freescaling. In coming issues, he will continue to share more about all this amazing program can do. You can learn more when you head over to Play to Learn: Let's Play!
Tips for Engaging and Successful On-line Lessons
Whether you teach lessons in a traditional format or something less traditional, on-line lessons seem to be here to stay. Some teachers use them as a makeup tool. Others have started offering them after moving across country because they did not want to lose their student base. A small group of teachers have built their studios teaching only on-line lessons. Melissa Willis is one of those teachers who began teaching on-line after a move across the country. This month Melissa shares some of the best and most thorough tips I have ever seen concerning teaching on-line lessons, including how to integrate props and games in these lessons. You can get all the details when you read Tips for Engaging and Successful On- Line Lessons.
Notes with Nick
Nick Ambrosino is back with more advice in Notes with Nick.
The "Ins & Outs" of Extended & Prepared Piano
If you are a fan of composer Jacki Alexander (or even if you have never played any of her music before), you are in for a treat this month. Jacki delves into the world of extended piano and prepared piano. Not sure what that is? Then be sure to read The "Ins & Outs" of Extended & Prepared Piano. (Hint: think The Piano Guys). If you think this is something your students would enjoy, Jacki even wrote a new piece of music in conjunction with this article. (Details about how you can get your hands on this music are found in the article.)