A Personal Journey With Students Into The World Of Improvisation – Jodie Jensen

Guest Writer: Jodie Jensen At the end of the academic year last May, I was in sore need of a different approach in my studio teaching life. After attending the MTNA conference in Chicago, I learned just enough about improvisation, teaching improvisation and the eye/ear revolution to push for a change to my current mode of operation. My biggest question/frustration was how to I revamp my teaching to make these principles a solid part of my teaching life. I am an old dog and new tricks are not really a part of my aging process. I also thought I had been doing a rather good job of covering all the bases as a music teacher. Hadn’t all my ABRSM practical exam entries passed with high marks? What could possibly be wrong!???? What was causing me to feel frustrated? Why did I feel students needed more than to just reproduce music instead of recreate music, embellish music and then … Read more…

Teachnology: The iPad Piano Studio

This is my first post under a new category I am calling “Teachnology.” I have just finished reading The iPad Piano Studio, a book by Leila Viss stuffed with useful tips for piano teachers interested in easy-to-use technology.  Whether you own an iPad or not, if you’ve every wondered how this handy tablet device could benefit your studio, this book is for you. If you are imagining a dry manual for geeks, think again. Her focus is not so much on specialized aspects of technology (though how-to basics are covered) as it is on how the iPad can be used as a practical tool to enhance teaching. More than a review of apps (though her favorites are included), Leila shows us how to update outmoded music teaching tools (think flash cards, note readers, workbooks…) with the hand-held technology to which today’s wired students are accustomed. The book is user-friendly in … Read more…

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