Welcome to the-piano-studio.com! Our mission is to provide a fun, information-rich website for curious piano students, parents, and teachers of piano students. This website is designed to help supplement what you are learning in your piano lessons, to answer common questions, and to provide inspiration to teach you to play, create, and enjoy a lifetime of making music.
You have probably heard that Music is many things: science, mathematics, history, physical education, art and language. Music involves your whole brain, your physical body. It engages both your left brain and your right brain: logic and mathematics in addition to creativity and imagination.
The-piano-studio.com defines the successful piano student as someone who is in every way a complete, well-rounded musician. A course of study should include reading music, rhythm skills, music theory, creative exercises, ear training and study of technique.
Whether you are a new student, a veteran player, or something in between, we hope you will find information on this site to help you on your musical journey!
Thanks for stopping by!
40 PIECE CHALLENGE
***NEW*** 40 Piece Challenge 2016 The 40 Piece Challenge has started again! Check here for the latest videos as I learn another 40 new pieces before May 2017!
40 Piece Challenge Check out the Youtube videos as I take part in the 40 Piece Challenge issued by fellow piano teachers. I will be learning 40 new pieces by May 2016! Whew!
40 Piece Challenge – The Journey Behind the scenes look at what it took to undertake this 40 Piece Challenge. The lessons I’ve learned, the challenges I’ve faced and what it took to post a video every week.
40 Piece Challenge Finish Line My reflections on what it means to finish the 40 Piece Challenge. The article contains the list of songs, a discussion about the song choices, and about what I learned from doing the 40 Piece Challenge.
Conversation with Alexander Peskanov A glimpse inside the mind of concert pianist Alexander Peskanov. We discuss the Russian School of Technique, performing repertoire, putting together programmes, and memorization.
Conquer Nerves This article offers a few tips on how to handle nervousness in performance. Perform like a pro!
Alternate Forms of Notation This lesson explores other ways of communicating music. It offers several different ideas for being creative when writing music.
Conversation with Barbara Arens An interview with the lovely Barbara Arens: teacher, composer, and performer. A chat about limitations and what it means for a composer.
How to Play A Lead Sheet (Basic) Helpful for learning to play popular music quickly and easily. Use a lead sheet (bare bones of a song) containing melody, lyrics, and chords. Some helpful tips to get you started.
Conversation with Forrest Kinney An interview with Forrest Kinney, creator of Pattern Play. A discussion about the importance of improvisation, and how we can use Pattern Play to teach it in our studios.
Conversation with SMP Press Sheet Music Plus and SMP Press discusses the impact of the digital age on the music publishing industry, and how to get your music published quickly and easily.
*** NEW *** Circle of Fifths An explanation and history of the mysterious Circle of Fifths, including a video by Mark Newman, explaining it perfectly and a link to Jeff Jensen’s research on patterns within the Circle of Fifths.
Easy Intervals If you’ve ever struggled with ear training, here is an article on Easy Intervals. Offers tips on hearing relative pitches easily and quickly, and includes a link to a handy one-page PDF download of well-known songs that will help you with identifying intervals.
Free Apps for Piano Students Free android apps to help piano students in their learning with links to the Google Play Store.
***NEW*** Music Blocks are here!! Teeny-tiny music blocks with the musical alphabet letters on one side, and their corresponding solfege syllables on the opposite side. These little blocks fit perfectly inside the piano keys! Read about their development and how to use them in your piano studio.
Piano Pedals An overview and explanation of the three piano pedals on pianos today. What are they called and what they are used for.
Sight Reading Sight reading is being able to play through a song skillfully without having played it before. Here are 12 tips for quick and painless sight reading.
Conversation with Erik Samuel An interview with Erik Samuel, jazz player (drums and piano). A chat about notating swing eighths in Jazz charts, and what it takes to be a jazz pianist.
RCM Level 5 Theory Study guide for the Royal Conservatory of Music Basic Rudiments exam takes you through all the exam topics and includes pointers for each subject. Includes on-line flash cards for studying musical signs and terms.
*** NEW *** RCM Theory Flashcards Sets of flashcards for studying Music Terms and Signs (one set for each level) for levels 5 – 8 of the RCM Theory Exams as outlined in the 2016 RCM Theory Syllabus.
RCM Theory Exams This article outlines the written Theory requirements for the Royal Conservatory of Music program. Includes tips for completing these requirements successfully.
Checklist For Piano Exams and Recitals This is a handy checklist for piano exams and recitals to help piano students wade through the process. Includes tips for before, during, and after your performance.
RCM Study Guides
***NEW*** The Royal Conservatory of Music Study Guides for RCM Preparatory A and RCM Preparatory B. The study guides contain short composer biographies, tips for learning the pieces, and a recording of each piece at performance level.
Inspiration This article offers a collection of inspiring talks, quotes, videos and thoughts about performance, composing, the piano instrument, the pianist and music in general.
Digital vs. Acoustic Piano An explanation about the differences between digital and acoustic pianos and how to choose the instrument that is right for your needs.
Shopping For A Piano Here are some great questions to ask yourself before you decide what kind of instrument to get.
Conversation with Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr An interview with Katherine Fisher and Dr. Julie Knerr, creators of method book series, Piano Safari. They discuss how Piano Safari came to be, how to use it, and what they were hoping to accomplish with this series.
Conversation with Rami Bar-Niv An interview with Rami Bar-Niv, Israeli composer, pianist, author, and teacher. We chat about what it takes to be an adult student, and what it takes to teach them.
Conversation with Wendy Stevens Wendy Stevens visits to talk with us about her ideas and the background behind the Rhythm Cup Explorations series.
The Learning Process
Dear Abby: Pedagogy Advice Panel After a visit to Ohio State University’s Piano Pedagogy Seminar in June 2016, participants got to ask the panel of experts for pedagogy advice. The panel answered questions about memorization, composition, arranging, teaching teenagers, and copyrights.
Bi-Weekly Lessons If you’re considering changing your lessons from weekly ones to every other week, have a look at this article. Seven reasons why bi-weekly lessons don’t work.
***NEW*** Constructive Feedback 12 tips on how to give constructive feedback
The Perfect Piano Student What characteristics does the perfect piano student have?
Summer Lessons An article about the value of summer lessons and how they can keep your piano skills sharp and your education moving forwards.
Successful Piano Practice How can I spend my practice time most efficiently in order to have successful piano practice? Here are 10 tips and suggestions to help the piano student practice.
How to Get My Kid to Practice Piano … And Like It!! What every parent should know about supporting and supervising piano practice at home.
Why Practice? Awesome visual infographic that has compiled research about the value of piano lessons for you, your body, and your brain.
Are Online Piano Lessons For Me? This article discusses online piano lessons — positives vs. negatives, briefly explores the differences between Facetime, Skype and Google Hangout, and outlines the characteristics of a good online piano student. This article also contains our signup form for our performance masterclass on exam and recital preparation.
Interesting Piano Websites and Software Links to freebies, demos, sheet music, and other useful items.