How Piano Teaches Can Escape Hollow Praise… And Make Motivation Meaningful

How to effectively praise piano students

"Great Job!"... "Good girl!"... "Way to go!".... It's time to shake up your praise and make it more meaningful and effective. Well-timed and genuine praise is one of the most effective tools piano … Continue Reading →

Ugly Christmas Sweater Meets Piano Practice

What piano teachers can learn from ugly christmas sweaters

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Train just won't slow down.  For years those red and green woolly monsters covered in scotty dogs and poinsettias were a source of sniggers.  But now, all the cool kids are r … Continue Reading →

For Some Of My Piano Students, This Was The Wake Up Call They Needed

Life Lessons learned through using Piano Teaching Games

Disclaimer: I include a fairly even mix of competitive and non-competitive piano games in my lessons. I think that there are benefits and drawbacks of both types. This post is specifically discussing … Continue Reading →

Avoid “Smushing” and Improve Your Piano Student Communication

talking to piano students

Have you heard of "smushing"?  Probably not...  but it's a word I use to describe what happens when my questioning style accidentally "smushes" my students. Smushing means I phrase a question in a w … Continue Reading →

When The ‘Honeymoon’ Is Over… How To Re-Establish Boundaries With Piano Students


Recently I took on a new student. I had received a few warnings from those who knew her… ("Oooh… she's  a busy one." and "Hope you have lots of energy!").  So when she arrived for her first lesson I wa … Continue Reading →

When Minecraft Met Minor Chords… Using Your Piano Students’ Interests To Your Advantage


I have a minecraft-obsessed piano student (as many of you do, I'm sure!).  It's all he talks about. I'm not a video game person and so it was initially a little tiring. Me:  "So let's take a look at t … Continue Reading →

How To Make Piano Lessons a Safe Haven For Troubled Students


Our youngest daughter turned three in October. At this stage, many parents would be relieved that they made it though the “terrible twos”. But truth be told, we didn’t feel relief because Halle was a l … Continue Reading →

How To Read Your Piano Student’s Mind And Avoid A Disastrous Lesson


At the start of every piano lesson I carefully observe my piano students as they begin their warm-ups. I feel much like Jane Goodall studying chimpanzees; engaging with her subjects all the while … Continue Reading →