assertThat((Payments == Simple) && (Signups == Easy))
It took me a loooooonnngg time to decide on a software program to use for Music SO Simple. I wanted something SIMPLE- that was my goal in everything from the starting minute- all they way down to the software. I had honestly only used one software program before, which had more cons than pros, and I definitely knew what I was looking for (there are lots of options out there!) I came across My Music Staff at the Music Teachers National Conference this past April. I stopped by the booth to learn more about the program- it was designed by a voice teacher’s husband! It checked off all of my boxes and it was super affordable. It made me think of my own husband, who is a software engineer, and my complaints about various issues I would have with a program. He would say “That’s easy to fix; I should just write a program for you!” I felt like it was a sign that this was the right program for the studio. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s been user-friendly for the teachers and the parents. And that’s the bottom line.
So, once you have officially joined Music SO Simple, you are sent a link and password to log in. Once the parent or student has logged in, the portal allows you to:
And just so you know, my hubby hasn't heard me complain about THIS software in 4 months!! Ha!
-Becky Corley, guest blog with over 40 years of teaching experience. Becky is an amazing mentor who has taught me so much about teaching piano and running a music studio.
A few years ago, I did a day-long class with some students in Carrollton … similar to the performance classes we do before special events. Toward the end of the day, I asked them to write down some things they had learned about practice that day. Here are a few of their comments as well as some of my own.
Practice slow enough to be accurate.
Slow practice really pays off.
Be able to begin at any part of a piece, at any phrase. If you can’t, you don’t really know the piece.
If you make a mistake in practicing, don’t go back to the beginning (unless that’s where you made the mistake).
When you are practicing, you are the audience. Do you really like what you hear?
My weight should be divided, with more weight on my feet that on my seat.
Don’t settle way back on the bench; sit forward, ready to play.
Correct fingering is very important. Wrong fingering gets you into all kinds of trouble.
If you can’t play a fast piece at a slow tempo, you can’t really control it at a fast tempo
Set the tempo before you begin the piece, not in the fourth or fifth measure.
Practice makes perfect only if the practice is perfect!
There have been a ton of articles written on the benefits of music, and of course we know that music is good for people of all ages. What exactly are the benefits?
...improve how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention.
...increase memory capacity through learning and memorizing pieces.
...helps time management & organizational skills in learning a piece, especially when preparing for recitals, festivals, and contests.
...teach responsibility by practicing, bringing music to lessons, and preparing for events.
...teach discipline and perseverance: how and when to practice, not quitting when it gets hard, working through challenges.
...improve mathematical ability (scientifically proven through multiple studies!)
...allow self-expression through making music.
...provide health benefits: reduces stress and anxiety, decreases pain, improve immune functioning, and aid memory.
...enhance coordination; reading music, hand-eye, using both hands and feet, and keeping a beat!
...relieve stress; students always leave lessons happy! Practice & lessons can be a great way to take a break from homework and be creative.
...teach etiquette by attending recitals and concerts.
...allow a student to build relationship with a teacher by working one on one.
There are numerous reasons to be a part of a professional music teachers organization, but one of best is attending annual music conferences around the US. I just returned from the MTNA conference in San Antonio, Texas, and wow is all I can say! By the 4th day, my brain was about to explode! The benefits of going to conferences are the relationships you make with other teachers in the nation, learning from each other, hearing about the “new” teaching resources that are out there, and of course, the continuing education you receive.
Why would music teachers need continuing education? Don’t we already know what we are doing? What extent of learning could justify the make-up lessons and the expense of a 5 day conference?
Here are just a few topics to give you the idea of what filled my brain:
Amazing, right? Did I mention the fact that we got to hear Time for Three perform AND talk with us on making music a career? I was in the front row!! If you have not heard of them, check them out! I cannot say enough about these guys.
I left the conference with what Time for Three said still in my mind: “In teaching music and in performing, you can’t sell something that’s fake. You can only sell what’s real. You have to believe.” I think this applies to both myself, as well as my students. I have to be myself to be successful. My students have to believe that they have the talent and ability to learn music. Regardless of whether they are super serious musicians or making music for fun, learning music helps one to be successful in life.
The desire to be a better person and teacher is continually on my mind. I’m excited to bring back all of the knowledge I learned and apply it to my teaching. To my students- are you ready!!??
Did you know that playing music can actually change the architecture of your brain? Its scientifically proven! Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. Improves performance on cognitive tasks
2. Increases memory capacity
3. Refines time management/organizational skills
4. Teaches responsibility, discipline, and perseverance
5. Improves mathematical ability
6. Fosters self-expression
7. Provides health benefits
8. Enhances coordination
9. Relieves stress
10. Its just fun!