Teach Music Students Want to Play

It happens much more often than any of us like. Some well-meaning parent, administrator, or friend delivers the piece of advice that they are certain will fix everything wrong with music education. “Simply teach the music that students actually like.” We smile and graciously accept their input. Inside, we are fuming! Would anyone tell anContinue reading “Teach Music Students Want to Play”

Product Review: Composer’s Choice – Glenda Austin

I first became familiar with the work of composer Glenda Austin through her hymn arrangements. I enjoyed her style and approach to familiar melodies. When I discovered the volume that I am reviewing today, I knew I wanted to check it out because I thought some of my intermediate students would enjoy her work asContinue reading “Product Review: Composer’s Choice – Glenda Austin”

Sibelius’ Bagatelles, Op. 34

A couple of weeks ago, I explored the bagatelles of Beethoven and enjoyed the music that I found there very much. That’s when I decided to take a look at some of the other bagatelles by composers whose music I enjoyed playing and teaching. That’s when I discovered the two sets of bagatelles (Opp. 34Continue reading “Sibelius’ Bagatelles, Op. 34”

More Than Just “Für Elise”: Exploring Beethoven’s Bagatelles

Let me begin with a controversial statement. I would be perfectly happy if I never heard Für Elise in my studio again. I understand the attraction. It’s a familiar melody that is known around the world. Students love it. Parents know that their young pianist has accomplished something when they can “play” it. That’s theContinue reading “More Than Just “Für Elise”: Exploring Beethoven’s Bagatelles”

Getting to Know the Early Haydn Sonatas (Hob. 1-14)

In my continuing search for appropriate repertoire for late intermediate piano students, I realized that I am not terribly familiar with the early piano sonatas of Joseph Haydn. This seemed like an easy situation to correct, but I decided to take my experience a step further and use the sonatas as daily sight reading exercisesContinue reading “Getting to Know the Early Haydn Sonatas (Hob. 1-14)”

Transition to Bach’s Two-Part Inventions

Greetings, fellow piano teachers! I must heartily apologize for my lack of posts during the month of September. Life has been hard and filled with heart break. The university that I work for made the decision to terminate our instrumental music program and the performance degrees in all disciples effective January, 2020. Needless to say,Continue reading “Transition to Bach’s Two-Part Inventions”

Aug. 13: Make His Praise Glorious! (Tracey Craig McKibben)

I have played piano in the church most of my life. I first learned to play hymns for corporate worship as a 10-year-old. Was I too young to do that? Definitely! Was my playing a hot mess at the time? For sure. Am I thankful that my parents encouraged me to play in my smallContinue reading “Aug. 13: Make His Praise Glorious! (Tracey Craig McKibben)”

Aug 6, 2020: Intermediate Repertoire by Jones, Leaf, and Thompson

Let’s talk about intermediate piano students because, let’s face it….intermediate students come with a unique set of problems, tastes, and preferences. Most of these students are teens and not as willing to work on music that does not appeal to them. Their assessment of their skills are not always based in reality, but they regularlyContinue reading “Aug 6, 2020: Intermediate Repertoire by Jones, Leaf, and Thompson”

Welcome to The Piano Teacher’s Bookshelf!

Welcome to what I hope will become a trusted resource for exploring teaching materials that you have not yet found (or maybe just forgotten about) to help you find the perfect supplemental piece for all of your piano students — from elementary through advanced. Where Did The Idea Come From? I love teaching beginning andContinue reading “Welcome to The Piano Teacher’s Bookshelf!”