Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Website

We’ve moved! I might continue this blog someday, but the home site for this studio is now http://pianokey.musicteachershelper.com
You can also find me on facebook as Mrs. D’s Piano Keys

Summer Classes!

I’m so excited for the summer and doing something different. See current announcement page for information on the fun and exciting stuff we’re doing this summer.

Piano practice tip of the week.

First of all, I will have information up around the first of May about summer classes/workshops. I’m very excited. This weeks tip is about eating a whale. Many pieces seem like whales. Sometimes even a section can be a small whale. So take small bites and chew well. Take a section – no bigger than you can play perfect and practice only one element of that section. If that section is only 4 measures of the right hand where you work out the rhythm, that’s a good bite. You can swallow it. Really break it down so the whole thing goes down easy.

Practice Tip #5

From this week we have a good way to get hands together when they are doing different things. Go through the piece playing only the places that the hands play together and imagining the parts where one hand or the other plays by itself. The hands get used to where they coordinate.

Practice Tip #4

I’m a little behind a week this time.  So this week’s practice tip deals with learning a new song.  First, look though the piece or sight-read it and decide what might be the hardest part.  Start with that.  When the hardest part seems less difficult move on the the next least difficult.  Continue until you get the the really easy parts and learn those last.  The hardest part might become the easiest in the long run.

Practice Tip #3

Today’s tip comes courtesy of my old teacher Dr. Andersen and also Dr. Irene Peery-Fox.  When playing a piece, always go slow enough that the notes, expression (dynamics), rhythm, and fingering are always correct.  To make those elements easier to remember, just remember the acronym NERF or FERN, whichever you prefer.  As you play slow enough it may seem tedious in the beginning, but in the end you don’t have to re-practice sections where you learned in mistakes from practicing too fast.  Speed comes naturally.

Weekly Practice Tip #2

This weeks tip came from a lesson this week.  Playing though something over and over till it becomes natural is boring and not so effective, but seems to be the default way to practice (including for me).  One suggestion with a group of chords is to try it backward.  Play the last chord in a series until it feel right, then the second to last one followed by the last one and so forth until you’re at the beginning of the phrase.