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BEST IDEAS Webinars have launched! REPLAY of Webinar 1 here + show notes

This past Tuesday, Oct. 17, 10AM Central, we kicked off a NEW #pianotipsin10 live broadcast series entitled “BEST IDEAS” to bring like-minded piano teachers together in the spirit of “community.” With all the tragedy that’s been happening around us, I believe there is a need for us to gather and support each other as independent teachers, share ideas, partner, etc. in a effort to be successful in our ability to change lives for the better.

JOIN US on TUESDAYS at 10AM Central for a LIVE BROADCAST via webinar where teachers share studio ideas, strategies or trade secrets.  FACE to FACE with you! 

CAN’T MAKE IT at that time? Everyone who registers for a TUES. webinar will automatically receive the REPLAY link afterwards.  

DID YOU SAY “REPLAY?”

This week’s webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 17, was a hit!  View the REPLAY below.   Spoiler Alert:  Time-sensitive info is inside the REPLAY below.  Summer pricing for Marvin Blickenstaff’s ONLINE summer Piano Camp for Piano Teachers (bundle of 4 video sessions) ends FRI, Oct. 20 at midnight central!  Take a PEEK at the online camp HERE.

SHOW NOTES:  

  1.  09:30:  Elizabeth Gutierrez presented a Music History idea with student incentives.  Read all about the Piano Explorer magazine for kids HERE.
  2.  21:14:  Mandy Facer presented her Cherub Club (Star Challenge). Here are the titles of each level in her challenge with the criteria.  Beside a few levels are the checklists of “SHOW and TELL” questions she asks of the students.  Yours to keep.  Thanks, Mandy!

Protostar (Primer to 1A)

Lucky Star (1A-1B)  Lucky Star to Rising Star pdf

Rising Star (1B-2A) Grade 1 Theory (taken from the Texas MTA Theory Syllabus)  Rising Star to Twinkling Star pdf

Twinkling Star (2A-2B) Grade 2 Theory  Twinkling Star to Shining Star pdf 

Shining Star (2B-3A) Grade 3 Theory Shining Star to Guiding Star pdf

Guiding Star (3A-3B) Grade 4 Theory

Texas Lone Star (3B) Grade 5 Theory

Flaming Star (4) Grade 6 & 7 Theory

5-Star Performer (5) Grade 8 Theory

SuperStar Performer (6) Grade 9 Theory

Celestial Star Performer – Grade 10 Theory

Eternal Star Performer – Grade 11 Theory

Quasi-stellar Performer – Grade 12 Theory

          3. 36:40:  Lizbeth Atkinson presented Elissa Milne’s 30/40 Piece Challenge in depth, offering us unique ways to adapt it to our personal liking.  Here are her notes including the LINKS to everything she mentioned in her session.  Yours to keep.  Thanks, Lizbeth!

30 Piece Challenge Presentation Notes

Elissa Milne’s Blog 

More about Elissa Thanks to Elissa for her contribution and permission to post!

P.S.  Info on the T-shirts seen on the webinar are forthcoming!

REGISTER above to receive the WEBINAR or REPLAY links because future replays won’t be posted on the blog!

 Now let’s have some fun on Tuesdays, shall we?  See ya there!

 

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UPDATE! Give to flood victims + invest in your education

There are no words to express the magnitude of the tragic loss and devastation in Houston/southeastern TX coastal areas due to the catastrophic flood, release of dam waters, and now a chemical plant explosion. A few members of my family plus numerous friends and teaching colleagues have been forced out of their homes and evacuated to shelters having lost everything or in some peril of losing their homes, belongings, livelihoods, etc.

In an effort to give more than just a personal donation and supplies, I want to try and contribute more substantially, especially to my TexasMTA colleagues who will need much help in rebuilding their lives, so…..

Tuesday, August 29 through Monday, Sept. 4 (midnight Central time), 10% of all net course sales at pianoteacheracademy.com will go to the MTNA Benevolence Fund. This fund is used to assist MTNA members affected by disasters.


This incredibly-gifted pedagogue, Marvin Blickenstaff, inspired many teachers this year with his 3 sessions offered as part of the online course: 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers.

Marvin’s course bundle was originally scheduled to end on August 31, but has been extended thru Sept. 4. The investment for the Camp’s 4 sessions (w/ one additional session given by me, Elizabeth Gutierrez) is only $127. Divided payments are available and you receive LIFETIME access to the online videos and handouts.

CLICK HERE to view all the details for the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers


In addition to the above, you can take advantage of the VIP BUNDLE:

You receive the 2017 Camp course above + Sorting Out the Piano Classics: What to Teach and When. The latter is a comprehensive course with 7+ hours of step-by-step video instruction, plus downloadable handouts. It includes 3 LIVE webinar sessions yearly where I answer your most pressing questions about teaching the classics. You receive LIFETIME access to this course, plus access to each year of webinars! Divided payments are also available.

CLICK HERE to view all the details for the VIP BUNDLE.


Please share with friends….

If you know of other teachers who might benefit from the courses at the Piano Teacher Academy, please share this post via email or spread the word with the social sharing icons at top left.

For those who enroll, I cannot thank you enough and if online courses are not on your radar right now and you feel moved to help, please donate to the MTNA Benevolence Fund, the Houston Food Bank, the Texas Diaper Bank, or to the Red Cross (all of these are trusted direct links).

Much appreciated! Keep all those affected in your thoughts and prayers!

Elizabeth Gutierrez

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Grab Your ONLINE Piano Camp Here! But only through August 31!

Hey there!

How’s your summer been going?  Can’t believe it’s already August and before you know we’ll be back in the swing of teaching again.  Yikes!  What happened?

Did you miss your own PIANO RETREAT this summer?  We had a fabulous! Piano Camp for Piano Teachers with the brilliant Marvin Blickenstaff on June 30 in San Antonio, TX.  If you couldn’t make it or haven’t yet enrolled in the ONLINE version, grab it by AUGUST 31. After that it will not be available anymore at the Camp pricing. And guess what? There’s now a summer budget-friendly payment plan as well.  🙂

 Read all about it HERE.  And snag it before enrollment closes on AUGUST 31 at midnight!

It includes these 4 Video Sessions:

  • Warm-Ups? Who, Me? Technical Routines for All Ages Marvin Blickenstaff, presenter
  • Performance Practice Made Easy: Rules of Thumb for the Student Marvin Blickenstaff, presenter
  • A Simple Step-by-Step Start to Major Scales, All Without A Book Elizabeth Gutierrez, presenter
  • The End is in the Beginning: Coaching a Piece to Performance Marvin Blickenstaff, presenter

Plus…..

  • Downloadable handouts
  • LIFETIME ACCESS to the videos, in addition to any content upgrades later.
  • A bonus “dessert” video from Marvin.
  • 30-day money back guarantee from date of purchase if you aren’t satisfied.

View on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.  No special software required for viewing.


What Teachers Are Saying…..

“Thank you Elizabeth, thank you Marvin – watching this conference right now on replay and finding so many teaching tips. A true gold mine of piano pedagogy wisdom. Such well spent money and time. The info is multi-level and plentiful – am going to have to write notes upon notes!”

Sarah Arnold – Brussels, Belgium

 

“Marvin’s wealth of wisdom and knowledge is remarkable, but I equally enjoyed his humility, kindness and joyful spirit. Thank you Elizabeth for another wonderful Piano Camp for Piano Teachers. I’m especially excited that I will be able to watch the videos over the next year. You’re a huge blessing to the piano community.”

Ginny Godsey – San Antonio, TX

 


Did you miss last year’s ONLINE Piano Camp for Piano Teachers (now a course called “Sorting Out the Piano Classics:  What to Teach and When”)?  Here’s your chance to enroll in BOTH the 2016 and 2017 ONLINE Camps at a very nice investment price of only $247 (w/ lifetime access).  Even better…. it too is available on a payment plan, but hurry!  This VIP BUNDLE of piano teacher education will also go away on August 31, 2017!

Click HERE to view the BUNDLE contents.

This package also includes 3 yearly Group Coaching Webinars where I answer your pressing questions about teaching classical repertoire.


See You On The Inside!

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REGISTER NOW for the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers with Marvin Blickenstaff – Attend LIVE or ONLINE!

So excited to announce our guest clinician for this year’s Piano Camp for Piano Teachers, the highly sought-after and beloved Marvin Blickenstaff!  For years Marvin has been providing teachers worldwide with insightfully creative, thoughtful teaching techniques that just work and he’s the one they flock to for workshops, lectures, and master classes.

Now you can see Marvin in-person at the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers in the lovely San Antonio, TX or at your leisure via your computer or mobile device!

JOIN US on Friday, June  30, 2017 at RBC Pepper South Texas in San Antonio (formerly RBC Music Company) if you would like to see Marvin in action, ask him questions, and share a lovely lunch with him. OR…..Join him via your computer or mobile device beginning on/around July 10 and watch the videotaped lectures from that day.  All participants, both LIVE and online, will have access to the recorded version of the workshop (4 sessions) thru December 31, 2017.

Click HERE to view all the details plus the workshop topics. You may register for either the LIVE workshop on June 30 or the online version.

******IN-PERSON participants:  Seats are still available as of June 25.  If the registration link is open, you may still register.  All of you will have a chance for Q&A with Marvin, you’ll receive lunch on site, plus door prizes and the videos as well!

Yes! I’ll RESERVE my SEAT NOW!

Look forward to seeing you in person on June 30 or ONLINE!

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FREE PREVIEW of ONLINE “Piano Camp for Piano Teachers”!

So THRILLED to announce that the ONLINE version of the June 24 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers (Houston, TX) is now available for those who could not make it to the LIVE event.

UPDATE!!! – the online version of the 2016 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers is now an online course entitled:  “Sorting Out the Piano Classics”  Read all about it HERE.  Grab it at the introductory price BEFORE OCT. 1, 2016!

Here’s what’s included: 

  • Five intensive sessions (7+ hours of video) outlining a logical teaching order of standard piano literature, Baroque to Contemporary, from the late elementary to early advanced levels.
  • Demonstration of example repertoire.
  • Useful teaching tips and techniques you can take right to the studio.
  • Handouts to inform you what to teach at each level.
  • PDF guides to help you match method books and repertoire collections to each level of study.

You will have LIFETIME ACCESS to this course and all content upgrades added in the future. View on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.  No special software required for viewing.


A glimpse of the curriculum below.  Click HERE to see the contents and watch a FREE PREVIEW! (see the module entitled “Presentation of Intermediate Pieces by Era – Romantic/Modern”)

Course Curriculum Screen ShotSee you on the inside!


What teachers are saying:

“I have watched about half of the videos and printed the handouts and can tell everyone that a LOT of work has gone into this Camp. If you are getting your repertoire lists ready for the fall and wanting a good sampling of classical pieces, this is the place to go. It is complete with an extensive list divided by levels and Elizabeth plays a sampling of most of them. The handouts include musical examples also.”

Lizbeth Atkinson – Columbus, OH

“I have enjoyed and benefited from the videos so much. I enter my students in our state program each year. Our state has 12 levels similar to Jane Magrath but 12!!! It has really been hard for me since my college back in the 70’s did not have a good pedagogy class. Thanks for your consideration!”

Betty Lawson – Tucson, AZ

 

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2016 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers will be ONLINE soon!

Adobe Spark(7)

We had a blast at our 2016 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers in Houston this past Friday!   For those of you who missed it, videos of the entire “in person” workshop will be available ONLINE for you to view at your leisure beginning July 15 right HERE.    You won’t need to download any videos or possess any special software.  You’ll simply log into the website and view/replay the sessions whenever you like on your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.

TOPICS PRESENTED:

2016PCPTWEBbrochurebackOnce you’ve purchased the video course, you will have lifetime access to the videos, pdf handouts, and any content upgrades I add later!  I’m so pleased to be able to bring this “virtual” camp to interested teachers for the very first time.  Many of you have told me how you wish you could have traveled to TX. No need for that!

BIG thanks! to all the teachers who attended the LIVE event.  It was wonderful to see some returning teachers and some new faces as well.  Should you have any questions about the topics we talked about, please don’t hesitate to email me at elizabeth@pianoteachercamp.com.  I know it was a long day filled with a multitude of recommended teaching pieces, tips for teaching, historical info, etc.

A HUGE thanks to the Fort Bend Music Center and owner, Rick Cochran, for providing us with such a quiet and spacious facility.  It was perfect!

And a BIG shout-out to our business donors who donated such generous door prizes for teachers in attendance:

Alfred Music Publishing
Carl Fischer
Faber Piano Adventures
Jennifer Foxx’ Music Educator Resources
Keys to Imagination
Piano Pronto
Susan Paradis’ Piano Teaching Resources
Theory Time
Willis Music Co.

Mark your calendars for our next “in-person” camp in late June 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.  In the meantime be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration for the ONLINE 2016 Camp.

Pre-register before July 15 (the launch date) and you’ll receive my PDF Guide:

“A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Piano Classics Students Love to Play”

A handy outline of a balanced selection of standard repertoire most favored by students, presented by era, level, and in progressive order of difficulty.

Look forward to seeing you there! 

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Join Me for the MusicEdConnect.com Online Conference! – Feb. 2 – 6, 2016

MEC 2016 HorizontalMichelle Sisler and her team have been working hard to prepare fantastic sessions and exhibits once again this year.  Looking at the presenters and their sessions, you will be truly impressed at what’s planned. 26 NEW SESSIONS! including mine:

A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Piano Classics Students Love to Play

THURSDAY, FEB 4, 12:45pm to 1:45pm Central Time

by Elizabeth Gutierrez

Having a hard time deciding which piano classics you should teach and when? Do you wonder whether your students will like your selections? Elizabeth will help you narrow down the sea of choices to create a well-rounded, balanced repertoire for students of all abilities and especially those with discerning tastes.


 The beauty of MusicEdConnect is that all sessions will be available ON-DEMAND after the live conference dates so you can re-watch a session or view a session you missed.  While there is a specific time for each live session, you do NOT have to watch it on that date.  You may watch the 2016 sessions until December 31, 2016!

AND…..

My READERS receive a COUPON CODE! 

UPDATE:  My code has expired and if you are just now reading this post, try code “MEC1516” to save $10.  Expires Feb. 2


A little overview of the conference:

The conference will begin with keynote speaker, Pete Jutras, presenting “The Road Ahead.”  What is the future of teaching piano and what is the best way to teach this next generation effectively?  

NEW this year, Tech Tuesday will offer a wealth of beginning to advanced technology sessions including very practical applications on a shoestring budget, how to replace that spaghetti of cords in your studio and iPad iDeas!  Also part of Tech Tuesday, are the many HOW TO 30/30 sessions on topics such as HOW TO Broadcast Your Recital Over the Internet, extend your screen, use iMovie and GarageBand.  These unique 30/30 sessions will offer a half-hour live with the second 30 minutes recorded for you to watch later when you are ready for that next step.  This will help these technical sessions be a bit less overwhelming so you can take it one step at a time at your own pace.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, learn how to deal with difficult parents, conduct engaging and effective studio classes, gain new sight reading strategies, understand chord symbols, perfect your teaching language, teach beginners technical movements, teach pop music, how to make the most of your lesson time especially with over scheduled students, better engage your students, marketing magic and everything in between!  And….showcases from JoyTunes, TimeWarp Technologies and Keys to Imagination.

Saturday, the networking session returns (Full Access/Live attendees only) as attendees will get to network with other attendees to give and receive great advice, all hosted by some of our presenters.

CLICK HERE for the SESSION DESCRIPTIONS 

CLICK HERE for REGISTRATION INFO (use code EG16 for $10 off)     

Look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Benda’s “Sonatina in A minor” Piano Play-Along: Post Four (Take-Aways)

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Hope you all enjoyed the Benda A Minor Sonatina Play-Along.  Even if you weren’t able to stay on schedule while it was happening, the beauty of a Play-Along is that you can jump in anytime even after the scheduled Play-Along has ended.   Make any Piano Play-Along our own self-guided project to learn a new piece and gain a little more insight about it.  But remember Play-Alongs are community projects also.  I want to hear your thoughts about the pieces whenever you “play-along”.    So….. practice a little, read a blog post along the way for insight, maybe make a comment on your findings, practice a little again, read another blog post, comment, etc.

I’m still hearing from folks who are reading along with the Kabalevsky Play-Along from last year.  I enjoy reading the comments and returning to the score to investigate someone else’s finding or suggestions. 🙂

BENDA INFOGRAPHIC

A little info about Benda to share with students…..

My take-aways from the Benda Play-Along:

  • This is a deservedly-popular and beloved piece for student pianists because of its engaging musical characteristics.  It offers tuneful melodies, dramatic harmonies, and finger-tickling toccata-style goodness with every measure.
  • The fact that it’s short, yet full of interesting twists and turns makes it appealing to students and its show-stopper quality is appealing to audiences as well.  Makes you wish there was more of it once it’s over.
  •  Excellent study in rhythm and part-writing for an aspiring intermediate pianist and offers opportunity to explore a good range of the keyboard.
    The student will have to count like a fiend and absorb many details in articulation, but the pay-off is worth it.
  •  I find that students continue to play this piece on their own even long after they’ve completed it.  That’s a good sign of a mesmerizing piece…..
  •  Studying the Supraphon edition at imslp.org was quite revealing.  It was surprising to see how over-edited this piece has become through the years and how inaccuracies have prevailed in student editions.
  • I think a NEW student edition is in order, one that reflects Benda’s first edition more accurately with added notes to students about pedaling, accurate distribution of the voices, repeats, etc.

I’m going to prepare a new student-friendly edition for the Piano Passport catalog, and include a short learning guide for mastery of the more difficult technical areas.  How does that sound?  More teachers and students should have quick access to this wonderful piece!

Please pipe in with your take-aways below…. would love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time!

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Benda’s “Sonatina in A minor” Piano Play-Along: Post Three (Tricky Passages )

Benda TPassages

piano_periscope_icon_mI hope you all have enjoyed the Benda A Minor Sonatina Play-Along with the Periscope enhancements this time.  I’ll continue to “scope”-along with our Play-Alongs.  🙂  I think it brings our score study to life and I enjoy how it builds even more community among participants in our group.  Please comment below with your thoughts on the addition of Periscope, and tell me if there are other aspects I could highlight during a scope session.   I’ll try to add more future student performances as I am able.  And….I’m working on a plan to SAVE some of the Play-Along Periscopes for later viewing after the 24-hour expiration.  Bear with me!

 

instagram-logoDon’t forget to watch the mini-video tutes on Instagram.  FOLLOW @pianoprof at Instagram and Periscope and set your notifications to ON.

 

 

Now that you’ve been playing the Sonatina for approximately 2 weeks, what do you think is the trickiest passage(s) in the piece? Either for you or a potential student?  Please ADD YOUR COMMENT BELOW with measure nos.
Of course, there could be several “tricky” spots for students when they first begin working on this piece and I remarked on those in an earlier Periscope.  For this post, I limiting it to the TWO spots that I think cause the most concern for the teacher and student.

1.  Measures 41-48
Benda Tricky Passage photo
This sudden change in texture really blindsides students at first.  At m. 41 they lose all rhythmic precision and suddenly slow the tempo way down.  I believe the root cause is the rhythmic shift from 16th-note subdivisions (mm.39-40) into eighths, then quarters later, and then dotted eighth-sixteenths, etc.  I find that students try to approximate the pacing of the eighths in m. 41 rather than count it precisely.

As mentioned in my Periscope, students must count like fiends in this area.  There’s just no way around it.  I have students count aloud from mm. 39 forward, by just saying the rhythms aloud first without playing.  While pointing to the rhythms in the score,  I have them count 16ths in mm. 39-40, followed by eighths in mm. 41-43, and so forth.  My students recite  “1-ee-and-a” for 16ths and “ 1 and “ for the eighths (you could choose another counting method if you prefer).  Once they get their lips wrapped around the counting, they truly know it and can direct their fingers to follow what they recite aloud.  While counting they can also listen for the steadiness of their tempo.  Of course, have them work hands apart as needed.

2.  Measure 44
Benda rest
This is the first and only pause in the entire piece.  Did you notice that? And it seems that students park themselves on this rest while they scurry to arrange their fingers quickly for the dotted rhythms.  Again, working hands separately and counting 16th subdivisions very precisely will assist in the entrance, but it’s the quick consecutive double-note manuevers in the RH that cause concern here.

Here’s the fingering I suggest for m. 44 (in the photo above – Supraphon edition):
RH:  5-1 to 4-1 then 3-1 to 2-1 (which lands on beat 1 of m. 45)
LH:  2 to 3 to 1 to 2 (which lands on beat 1 of m. 45)

NOTE:  Two notes for the RH and single notes for the LH. is exactly how Benda wrote it in his first edition according to the Supraphon editors.  For more info about this Czech edition, click HERE. 

PLAYING TIP:  Rather than play directly downward into the keys on the RH double notes, stay close to the keys and use a “sliding” motion with the hand as you play each pair of double notes.  The video below demonstrates.

When you time the sliding motions with your counting it all comes together so much more easily and there’s no fumbling around with the hand jumping about. Do you hear the student counting?  He makes it look easy, doesn’t he? But…..he’s always determined to solve issues by counting.

I hope this helps.  I look forward to your REPLIES below.  Please share so we all may compare notes, OK?  A little Benda “wrap-up” post will soon follow this one. Keep on practicing!

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Benda’s “Sonatina in A minor”: LIVE Student Performance on PERISCOPE!

FINAL BENDA Periscope

To celebrate the close of the BENDA A minor Sonatina PIANO PLAY-ALONG, join us on PERISCOPE for a LIVE student performance and interview- SAT, Oct 10, 12:15 Central Time. Learn about the student’s perspective of this piece and see him in action. He’ll take your questions LIVE. You must download the PERISCOPE app on your mobile device in order to interact with him. Once you do, FOLLOW @pianoprof and set notifications to ON. *** If you miss it, the REPLAY will be available for 24 hours on your device.

QUICK PERISCOPE  HOW-TO:

  1. Download the FREE Periscope app on your mobile device – cell phone or tablet.  Go to the Apple store or Google Play to download the app.
  2. Use your cell phone# or your Twitter account to sign up.
  3. Set Notifications to “ON.”
  4. Create your account and choose your @name.
  5. Post a photo of yourself and bio on your profile later if you prefer.
  6. Search for Elizabeth Gutierrez or “@pianoprof88”  and FOLLOW.
  7. Whenever I start a broadcast, you’ll hear and see a little tweet alert on your device.  You may REPLAY the broadcast later, but it expires after 24 hours.

Without the mobile app, you may view LIVE on the web here — www.periscope.tv/pianoprof88— but you receive an alert or be able to chat with everyone. REPLAY is available for 24 hours.

FOR ADVANCE NOTICE of FUTURE #PIANOSCOPES (piano teacher workshops on Periscope), go to the SIDEBAR just to your right and LIKE the Piano Camp for Piano Teachers FACEBOOK page.  In the LIKE area, choose GET NOTIFICATIONS.

That’s it!  See you Saturday on the #pianoscope!