I teach beginning through early-advanced piano, flute, and composition lessons to children and young adults, ages 6 – 22 at my studio in West St. Paul.
I’m now accepting home-schooled children and teens who have morning and early afternoon availability for the 2017-18 school year. I’m available for private piano, flute, and/or composition/music theory lessons or small group general music classes.
A few weeks ago when the weather was warm, I took my son to the playground. It was just starting to turn cold again, feeling more like February weather. I sat on a bench and started to take my phone out, but then decided to put it away. I’m glad I did because I almost … Continue reading Spontaneous Music-Making
“It can bring us to tears or to our feet, drive us into battle or lull us to sleep. Music is indeed remarkable in its power over all humankind. Perhaps for that very reason, no human culture on earth has ever lived without it: people making music predates agriculture and perhaps even language.” Kristin Leutwyler, … Continue reading Music education in schools: why you should care
I’ve been thinking about this article about why we shouldn’t force kids to learn a musical instrument. For the most part I think Oppenheimer’s arguments are weak (violin lessons are as pointless as foosball lessons), but he does have one interesting point: most of his friends that had taken music lessons as children put down … Continue reading How to help your kids form an emotional attachment to classical music
The other day, while teaching one of my beginner students, it hit me: the reason beginners sometimes feel frustrated with piano study is that they are immersed for awhile in the micro details of music, rather than the macro. What I mean is, rarely at the outset do they see and experience the big picture … Continue reading The Big Picture
So, we’ve got: 1) Form a practicing habit. 2) Find motivating materials. 3) Practicing environment counts. Now on to : 4) Work through resistance. When I lived in Oregon about ten years ago, I had a jazz saxophone player friend who told me, “I practice everyday whether I want to or not.” Wow. This is … Continue reading How to get your kid to practice, Pt. 2
“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.” —Madeleine L’Engle “Not only is practice necessary to art, it is art.” —Stephen Nachmanovitch So we’ve come to the mid-year doldrums in which getting your kid to practice is harder than making them eat that last bit of eggplant or forcing them through the door at … Continue reading How to get your kid (or yourself) to practice, Pt. 1
A couple weeks ago in ECFE parenting class, our teacher had us do an icebreaker activity in which we had to find other people in the room who: had an exotic pet at home; who had a relative with the same name as one of your relatives; and so on with similar questions. One question … Continue reading Can you sing?
It’s been really fun watching the musical development of my son, E., who just turned 4. From birth my husband and I have been singing to him, dancing with him, playing music for him (via recordings and ourselves, playing instruments) and providing a house full of drums, xylophones, keyboards and guitars. In other words, there … Continue reading How to Teach Music to a 4-Year-Old