share_icon.pnglinkedin_icon.pngfacebook_icon.png
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
By Joseph E Line
Pin It

Wouldn’t it be great to have a reliable and knowledgeable resource available to answer any questions you might have about piano playing or practicing?  

Now you can: Just follow my Musical Monday Piano Blog for great tips on piano playing and practicing. Then leave your questions, comments and suggestions for me on this blog site.

I’ll be blogging every Monday about such topics as:

  •          How can parents help nurture their child’s piano playing.
  •          The 6 fundamentals of piano practicing.
  •          What is talent? And, does my child have any?
  •          Repertoire suggestions.
  •          How to pick a good piano teacher.
  •          Online piano lessons – does it really work?
  •          How to set practicing goals.
  •          Big myths about piano playing and piano lessons.
  •          Muscle memory: What is it and how does it work?
  •          And many other topics ….

So, read my Musical Monday blogs and then send me your questions, comments and suggestions for other blog topics.

NOTE: I always appreciate respectful comments, questions and constructive criticism. All others will be deleted.

You and your children can study with me in person if you live in the Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Parkland and Ft. Lauderdale areas of South Florida. Students can also take live interactive lessons with me over the internet from anywhere in the US.

Contact me directly at 954-298-5014

 
Monday, May 29, 2017
By Joseph E Line
Pin It

Practicing Smart™ is a series of three books that I have written about how to get the most out of every minute of piano practicing.

  •          Practicing Smart for Children.  
  •          A Parent’s Guide to Practicing Smart. 
  •          Practicing Smart: Putting Scientific Theory into Practice.

You can read a sample of the Parent’s Guide right now at this link:

Parent's Guide

These books will be available for purchase later this year on this website

The Practicing Smart books are important because when most students sit down at the piano to practice, what they are doing isn’t really practicing. It’s nothing more than wasting time. It’s very much like the amateur golfer who makes a few half-hearted practice swings, before hitting the ball into the  woods and getting REALLY frustrated. 

The real day-to-day “nitty gritty” of practicing the piano involves deep concentration, lots of repetition (rehearsing), making lots of errors and correcting them, stopping and starting, trial and error, and lots of experimentation. 

Smart piano practicing has a logic all its own – a logic that often seems counterintuitive and lacking common sense. But underneath all the seeming chaos of practicing are some fundamental principles and rules that are critical to practicing success. 

Here are eight fundamental principles of Practicing Smart that do work all the time. All are based on recent scientific research. All are explained in detail in the Parent’s Guide. 

  1.        How you practice is more important than how much you practice.
  2.        How you practice today determines what you will remember when you practice tomorrow.
  3.        Do your practicing first. Play what is familiar after you are done practicing.
  4.        Master challenging sections of the music before easy sections
  5.        Master music at slow tempos before attempting fast tempos
  6.        Master hands separately playing before attempting hands together.
  7.        Master small chunks of music before taking on larger chunks.
  8.        Master notes before adding expressive elements. 

You or your children can study with me in person if you live in or around the Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Parkland areas of south Florida. Students can also take live interactive lessons with me over the internet from anywhere in the US. See www.JosephLinePianoSutdio.com for more information or call me directly at 954-298-5014. 

 
Monday, May 29, 2017
By Joseph E Line
Pin It

So you want your child to take piano lessons? But, ask yourself, is your child REALLY READY?

As a master piano instructor, I’ve discovered it is often “readiness” rather than age that determines when best to start piano lessons for your child.  

A rule of thumb is: the less prepared a student is for piano study, the slower will be their progress. The more prepared they are before the first lesson, the more likelihood that they will progress rapidly and develop a lifelong love of music and of music making at the piano.

As a piano instructor who has trained a few hundred students over a 45+ year career, there are some very important readiness questions that I use to determine a new student’s level of readiness for private piano lessons. Here they are in order of importance.

  1. Has the child asked to take piano lessons unprompted by their parents?
  2. Does the child, on their own initiative, sit down at your piano or keyboard and make up their own music for long periods of time, and do the parents encourage this?
  3. Are they able to sing a simple song, like “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”?
  4. Are they able to echo back to me some simple rhythms on a drum?
  5. Are they able to observe me playing a few notes on the piano and then play them back in the same order using the same fingers?
  6. Are they able to stay on task for at least 15 minutes?
  7. Is their small motor skill development sufficient that they can use each finger or each hand independent of the others?
  8. How old is the student?
  9. Do the parents show a keen interest in music and/or dance?
  10. Are the parents willing to spend time partnering with their child during practice times at home?

 

How can you best get your child ready for piano lessons?

During the pre-school years, music classes that involve both parent and child, such as Music Together® (see photo, above), Kindermusik, or Mommy and Me Music Classes are the best way I know to begin to awaken a child’s musical abilities and to get them ready for future successful piano study … and they are lots of fun.

Readiness matters!. Parents who enroll their children into pre-school music classes and then follow it with piano study, set their children up not only for a lifelong love of music, but also help to lay for them the foundation for all future learning.

 

You or your children can study with me in person if you live in or around the Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Parkland areas of south Florida. Students can also take live interactive lessons with me over the internet from anywhere in the US. See www.JosephLinePianoSutdio.com for more information or call me directly at 954-298-5014.