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Friday, January 7, 2011

Musical Goals for 2011

I have been teaching piano for more than thirty years, but I am determined not to become the stereotypical blue-haired piano instructor, rapping her students' knuckles with a ruler or nodding off during lessons. I am committed to staying breast of current publications, teaching trends, and technology, as well as keeping up my own practice and performing when possible.

To these ends, I have come up with the following list of goals for the year ahead. I hope other teachers will find it useful as they establish goals for their own studios, and that students will be inspired to come up with their own lists of goals to help them grow as musicians.

• Post to “Notes from the Piano” blog weekly.
• Practice piano one hour every day.
• Resume piano lessons.
• Add six pieces to repertoire and post them on YouTube.
• Create an original composition for the piano.
• Attend GCMTA meetings each month.
• Support student participation in NFMC Federated Festival & the GCMTA Ensemble Concert, the Asberry School of Music Spring Recital, and GMTA Fall Festival.
• Arrange student performances at area assisted living centers.
• Take advantage of adjudication opportunities.
• Attend publisher workshops.
• Attend GMTA state conference.
• Present a workshop at GMTA state conference.
• Declutter office and organize music.
• Master my technology: Roland Music Tutor, digital pianos, Sibelius software.
• Establish a computer lab for student use in the studio.
• Read MTNA journal each month.
• Write an article on music education and submit it for publication.
• Explore alternative possibilities for building studio enrollement, such as Skype, small group lessons, and summer camp.
• Set Top 5 priority lists and revise every quarter.

1. Establish and maintain schedule to incorporate practice, teaching, performing, blogging, and writing.
2. Resume piano lesson; practice piano one hour every day.
3. Support student participation in NFMC Federated Festival and the GCMTA Ensemble Concert; arrange student performances at area assisted living centers in February.
4. Take advantage of adjudication opportunities (3).
5. Attend GCMTA meetings each month.

What are some of your musical goals for 2011?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 GMTA State Conference

I am back from my first-ever Georgia Music Teachers Association State Conference, held this year in Augusta. I saw some wonderful speakers, heard some great music, and got lots of inspiration for my piano teaching. Highlights were Nelita True's workshops on teaching Chopin's Easier Preludes and four Schubert Impromptus, the performance of the commissioned work, Observations, composed and conducted by Lee Johnson and presented by The Chamber Chorus of LaGrange College and the Piano Quintet from the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra New Music Ensemble, and the guest artist recital featuring pianist Jon Klibinoff and his master class with student winners of the 2010 GMTA auditions. It was also a thrill to see colleague Susan Andrews designated a 2011 MTNA Foundation Fellow and my friend and conference roommate Natalie Hardy installed as Vice President of Newsletters.

But I had the most fun reprising my role of the Creative-Can't-Sit-Still-Won't-Stop-Playing-Even-When-The-Teacher-Is-Talking piano student in a skit entitled A Day in the Life of a Piano Teacher, written by colleague Cathy Thacker.

Natalie Hardy as the Model Student

Mary Ann McTier as the Bored Teenage Student

Yours Truly as the Fidgety Student

Robin Engelman as the Whiny Student

Here is Part 1 of our presentation:

And here is Part 2:

I hope you have as much fun watching as we did performing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I just uploaded a batch of student videos to my YouTube channel. Check them out by clicking HERE. I think you'll agree that I have some of the most talented piano students on the planet!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Employment Benefits

As a self-employed piano instructor, I don't receive health benefits or retirement benefits or paid vacation or sick days or any of those other non-wage compensations that many employees receive in addition to their regular wages or salaries. But benefits such as this?


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Unfinished Story

Meet Christina. She has been working on The Unfinished Story, an original composition by Ip Chui Han Amy (click HERE to purchase sheet music) piece for several weeks in preparation for a public performance next Wednesday evening. Like many young artists, she is an extreme perfectionist and struggles with performance anxiety. To help her mentally prepare, I suggested we record the piece yesterday. I think she played it magnificently, and with her permission I am sharing the video with you. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My First Music Video

I decided that the first piano solo I would add to my repertoire this year would be Castle Hunting by David Nevue. Castle Hunting has long been a favorite of mine; I will never forget the night David played it at a concert in the area and dedicated his performance to me. I almost cried. You can read about my association with David Nevue by clicking HERE; you can learn more about David and his work by clicking HERE.

Since I have played the piece so much, I hoped that it would be relatively easy for me to memorize, and that did turn out to be the case. Here are the results of my efforts. Enjoy!