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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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JAN-FEB 2017 READ-ALONG: Josef Lhevinne’s “Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing”

fb-read-alongHello Blog Readers!

Wow!  It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, but things sure have been busy on the live streaming end of things.  You could say that most of my “blogging” now has been in-person and LIVE.  There’s much more emotion and tone you just can’t put into writing.  I’ve truly enjoyed connecting with you in this way.

A new year is great time for goal-setting, new inspiration and a “re-start.”  What better way than with a project to get your wheels spinning in new directions for 2017.  Instead of our usual Play-Along, the gang over at the FB Play-Along group has voted on a Read-Along, the first ever in the blogisphere I think.  If you’re reading this after Jan. 10, 2017, no worries!  Jump in at any time during our schedule since the book is not sequential and you can always catch up later by watching the previous replays.  I’ll post the replays here on the blog about every 2 weeks.

FROM JANUARY 10  thru FEBRUARY 14 (approximately), we’ll all be reading “Basic Principles of Pianoforte Playing” by Josef Lhevinne.  Click HERE for all the info you need to get started.  There’s no official sign-up, but purchase a copy of the book soon if you don’t have one.

Basic Principles in Pianoforte PlayingYou can grab a copy HERE on Amazon if you like.  If your book arrives after we begin, no worries. You can still watch the 1st LIVE broadcast on Chapter 1 on Tuesday, January 10 (or the replay) and catch up on the chapter afterwards.

WATCH THIS video introduction of the Read-Along for all the specifics.

OR

Click HERE to read all the info you need to get started.


Read More

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NEW Periscope Piano Workshops Coming!

 Piano Tips in 10 minutes
Since I began using Periscope as both a broadcaster and a viewer, I’ve been amazed at how this LIVE broadcasting technology brings a worldwide community together simply at the touch of a finger on your phone or tablet.  With input from a few blog followers, I’ve decided to start a new Periscope “mini piano workshop” series beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 10am Central Time.
I invite you to join me for #PianoTipsin10 (aka Piano Tips in 10 minutes), a weekly series designed specifically to provide solutions to pain points we often encounter when teaching.   I will offer you my own time-tested teaching strategies, but the beauty of Periscope is that we  ALL benefit from interaction with each other via the comments.  I hope we all take away fresh ideas and renewed energy.

Because we are teachers with incredibly BUSY schedules, I will limit the workshop to just 10 concise minutes on one single topic.  However after the 10 minute period, feel free to stick around a bit longer for some Q&A if you like.  Even if you can’t join the LIVE presentation, the “scope” will remain on your Periscope account for 24 hours so you may view it at a convenient time later.

Here’s my working list of pain points so far:

  1. Reinforcing a Rounded Hand Position at the Piano
  2. Collapsed nail joints
  3. Flying pinky fingers
  4. Accuracy with Rhythmic Subdivisions
  5. Hands-Together Precision
  6. Introducing Legato for the First Time
  7. Refusal to count

and so forth……

What are the burning pain points in your studio this semester?  Please feel free to list one or two I could consider by commenting below.  The more, the better!

NEW to PERISCOPE?   Click HERE to learn how to download the FREE app to your phone or tablet (available on Apple and Android) and be sure to FOLLOW my account “@pianoprof88” with Notifications ON.  You’ll get a “tweet alert” when I go LIVE.  You can view it in watch-only mode on the web here: https://www.periscope.tv/pianoprof88  but I encourage you to download the app to your smartphone so you can comment, give hearts, etc.

FOR ADVANCE NOTIFICATION of my Scopes, please do one of the following:

1.  Subscribe to this blog on the sidebar to the right.
2.  Follow me on Twitter — @egpiano
3.  Visit “Piano Camp for Piano Teachers” on Facebook, LIKE the fan page, and click GET NOTIFICATIONS.

   **** SHARE this POST with your TEACHER FRIENDS!****

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to ALL!

 

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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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NEW Piano Play-Along for September: Cast Your Vote

Sept. Play Along voteHi everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed a great summer. Mine was busier than expected but I’m back to my usual groove and ready to start another Piano Play-Along!  Who’s ready?

We’re voting on topics over at the Piano Play-Along Facebook discussion group, but please vote here in the COMMENTS below if you don’t belong to that group.

And SURPRISE!  This time we’re going to have LIVE BROADCAST with the Play-Along.  You’ll see me broadcasting LIVE on your phone or tablet and you can interact with me.  I’ll show you soon how that works (so easy!) and it comes at no cost to you!

More on this later, so select from these PLAY ALONG choices by SUNDAY EVENING, Sept. 13 if you can. I’ll announce the winning topic on Monday.

1. VINTAGE PRIMER Play Along – I love using certain oldie primers as supplements for my beginners and I’ll give you a tour of one of my favorites.
OR
2. “GET in SHAPE” Play Along – We’ll all practice a certain intermediate-level piece or etude for 2 weeks and then share our discoveries and inquiries with each other via the LIVE VIDEO chats, plus here on the blog, and maybe a little on IG.

Sound good? Are you in? VOTE for #1 or #2. Can’t wait to interact with everyone via LIVE BROADCASTING!

 

 

 

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Welcome to the GET IN SHAPE Piano Play-Along!

First, thank you all for submitting your votes for a summer Play-Along topic.  The majority of folks voted on getting their fingers in shape for now, but not to worry… we’ll cover the other Play Along topics later this summer.   

FROM JUNE 1 through JUNE 15, we’ll be practicing Stephen Heller’s “L’Avalanche.”  Click HERE for all the info you need to get started and learn about the purpose of this particular Play-Along. Read More

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New PLAY-ALONG for JUNE – Cast Your Vote!

11233584_1629948270575000_6855710208367958764_oThe theme for our Piano Play-Along beginning in June 2015 will be “GET IN SHAPE!”  We’ll all practice a certain intermediate-level piece or étude for 2 weeks and then we’ll all share our discoveries and findings, and then we move on to another piece for 2 weeks, etc.  We’ll get our piano technique in good shape while intensely studying a well-regarded teaching piece.  Sound good?  The 2-week period allows everyone ample opportunity to work around vacation schedules, summer camps, etc.

Of the 5 pieces below, with which would you like to start? (for June 1 thru June 15)
1. Burgmuller’s Arabesque Op. 100/2

2. Burgmuller’s Ballade Op. 100/15

3. Heller’s L’Avalanche Op. 45/2

4. Benda’s Sonatina in A minor

5. CPE Bach’s Solfeggio in C minor.

Are you in?  Let me know by replying in the comments below and cast your vote for your preferred study piece.  I’ll reveal the winning choice tomorrow!