performance Tag

“The best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.” – Walt Disney

Recently I attended the 2013 Music Teachers National Association annual conference, held at Disneyland Resort. Among the many highlights of the conference were master classes, concerts, young artist competitions, invigorating sessions, exhibitor showcases, and connecting with colleagues from around the nation. There was so much packed into the five-day conference that my head was spinning by day two! However, my big “take-away” was from a session given by Karen Thickstun, a nationally certified teacher of music from Indiana.

Karen presented a session on Lessons Learned from Disney. We can learn so much from Walt Disney’s entrepreneurial skills. He was an innovator in animation and theme park design. He stretched the boundaries of possibility during his lifetime. In addition to being an innovator, he paid impeccable attention to quality. He wanted only the best. For instance, when hiring musicians for the orchestra, he hired the absolute best, never skimping on quality.

Hello, this is Cathy, the Senior Support Specialist for Studio Helper. I wanted to take a moment and send a thank you for your patience, understanding and help this week since the upgrade. I know it has been difficult this week and we couldn't have completed the fixed we did without your help! Please know that once everything is in place you will love Studio...

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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

In the November issue of Clavier’s Piano Explorer (a wonderful little magazine for piano students), there was an article on creating good practice habits. The challenge was for students to practice 100 days in a row. Students that completed the challenge get to have their names printed in a future issue of the magazine. To motivate my students to develop the habit of practicing every day, I adopted the 100-day challenge in my studio, offering prizes to those who complete the challenge. In addition, I decided to take the challenge as well!

Recently I completed the challenge along with a handful of students. Practicing every day became a habit that I made time for. Part of committing to the challenge meant that practice did indeed have to happen every day, no matter what – like brushing your teeth. For students that went on vacation and had no access to a piano, listening to a recording of their piece was an optional substitute for practice, but only if absolutely necessary.

In a recent music teachers workshop, a professor from our local university’s music department gave an excellent presentation on the topic of motivating your students. I imagine this is something every studio owner struggles with, and since students who aren’t motivated have a tendency not to progress and not to enjoy what they’re doing, this can also affect student turnover.

Festival, exam and competition season is upon us. How do you prepare your students for these events? I take this part of my teaching very seriously, mostly because I had a negative experience at a music exam as a student myself. My first piano teacher registered me for a piano exam and I had absolutely no idea what to expect, was not coached on any of the components of the exam, and left feeling like a failure. Luckily, I did not lose my drive for music and instead found a much more competent teacher who took the time to make sure I was prepared. What I learned from her was invaluable to me as both a performer and teacher. Most of this is common sense, but I would like to share some of my ideas.