Archive for the ‘for Parents’ Category
Posted in for Parents, for Students, Piano Teacher Press, tagged beginner piano, beginner piano method, Keyboard Kids, Keyboard Kids Complete, piano, piano beginners, piano education, piano instruction, piano lessons Cranberry Twp PA, piano lessons Wexford PA, pre-school piano preschool piano on May 10, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
I would like to invite all parents with pre-school children to consider my Keyboard Kids – CYBER PIANO Program.
Between the explosion in online learning and the ever growing interest in homeschooling I’m ready to begin a pilot program that combines these two ideas where parents become the child’s first piano teacher. Imagine yourself giving your child their first piano lessons under the guidance of an experienced piano teacher!
The concept of online education is one that’s only going to expand. The following quote is from an article How Tech Is Changing College Life
Community college students are less digitally connected than students at four-year schools, but more and more people are making the Internet their education gateway. Twelve million students take at least one class online today — in five years, that number is projected to exceed 22 million. By 2014, analysts say, more than 3.5 million students will take all of their classes online.
If you read of the greatest musicians you will find that most began very young AND many were given their first training by one of their parents. Mozart’s first teacher was his father. Chopin’s first teacher was his mother. I’ve been teaching young pre-school age children since the 80′s. I have always been most successful when the parent accompanied the lessons to provide support and reinforce my instruction between each lesson.
I have found that many courageous home schooling parents feel confident to teach their child almost any subject EXCEPT MUSIC. In that field they don’t feel confident. My Keyboard Kids – CYBER PIANO Program is going to fix that.
What I am going to provide you is my Keyboard Kids Method Books 1 and 2 and My First Theory Book. These books are geared for 4-5 year old beginners.
For an article on my Keyboard Kids go HERE. I will also provide Powerpoint presentations that accompany the Keyboard Kids Books that will give you detailed instruction on how to cover each and every page of the Keyboard Kids series. If you don’t have Powerpoint you can obtain a free run-time version that will play Powerpoint files HERE. Just follow the links.
Keyboard Kids – CYBER PIANO Program will also provide you, as part of the program, a weekly online consultation that you may use any way you wish. We can use any of the free online video conferencing available; e.g. Skype. I can A) answer any of the question you may concerning your teaching of the Keyboard Kids Curriculum OR B) I can give personal instruction to your child OR C) a combination of each.
If you’re interested in Keyboard Kids – CYBER PIANO Program and want MORE INFORMATION you can eMail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you live in the Wexford, Cranberry,Gibsonia area north of Pittsburgh call Piano Lessons PLUS at (724) 935-2840.
For more information about other exciting programs offered at Piano Lessons PLUS point your browser HERE!! or HERE!! We not only offer piano lessons at our studio on Route 19 at 11565 Perry Highway in Wexford but we offer a variety of plans that keep your traveling down to a minimum. Check that out HERE!! or HERE!!
Piano Lessons PLUS
Begin teaching your own little Mozart!!
Posted in for Parents, Piano Teacher Press, tagged beginner piano, beginner piano method, imagination, Keyboard Kids, piano beginners, piano education, piano instruction, piano lessons Cranberry Twp PA, piano lessons Wexford PA, piano parents, piano teaching, piano theory, pre-school piano preschool piano, SKYPE piano lessons on April 20, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Piano Lessons PLUS
In the late 80′s is when I made the jump into the world of computers. I did a lot of reading and saw the great potential that was developing in using computers in music education. I’ve been using computers ever since and have never looked back.
Today – a quarter of a century later – I see a new leap forward as the computer industry advances in making technology more immediately useful to educators. The opportunities are too much to pass up. What I can now offer students is so much more than I could when I began my professional teaching career in the late 70′s. I can even offer a great deal more than I could when I began Severino’s Piano Keyboard Lab in 1988. Let’s begin to explore what I can offer to piano students in this new wave of innovation.
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND PROFESSIONALISM IN TRADITIONAL PRIVATE LESSONS
Tablet Computers is going to bring computing to a new level usefulness. The power that can be packed into a thin computing device the size of a book is revolutionary. Here is how I plan to take advantage of this technology in my PRIVATE LESSONS at Severino’s Piano Lessons PLUS. I will continue to use my innovative system of marking my students books by using highlighters to draw the student attention to my instruction. (See “HIGHLIGHT” Your Teaching). I will still continue to use the books and methods I’ve published through Piano Teacher Press. I will still continue to utilize the creative music programs I developed for readying students for music lessons when I was going to schools as Dan Dan the Music Man. I will still continue using the computer programs I designed that supplements the method books I designed in my Keyboard Kid series of books. What I will now begin to offer is a new level and a new dimension of instruction using the newest technologies available to give you better and more creative musical instruction.
What I can now do is to made a COMPUTER NOTEBOOK for each student. This notebook will include, among other things, mp3 files of key explanations given in my lessons. Let’s say in a lesson there is a need for a thorough explanation of “key signatures“. I can easily record this part of the lesson and include it in the student’s personal computer notebook. After the lesson I can now send this is to eMail this recording TO YOU so you can review the lesson again at home. The instruction can be reviewed for greater, more comprehensive learning.
Let’s say a little later in the lesson I assign a new composition. Very often I would play the piece for the student. Now I can make either an mp3 of the piece or even a video of the piece and put this directly into the student’s computer notebook.
I recently had a student learn - O What A Beautiful Morning from the musical Oklahoma. We listened to this song on YouTube. Now, I can put the link in the student’s computer notebook where they can listen to the piece again. They may enjoy the piece so much they may even put it on their personal iPod.
Often at the end of a lesson I don’t always get through all the music the student prepared. I can put a little note in the student’s notebook what we need to cover first at the next lesson. I can put a notation into the student’s computer notebook and send it via eMail so it will not get misplaced. I have a record and the student has the same record so there is less confusion and communication breakdowns. Progress will gain consistency.
It is the practice of many teachers to play new assignments for their students. What I can now do is make a video of that performance and again put it into the STUDENT NOTEBOOK. They can now have the performance as part of their permanent record. The student will not have to recall what they remember from the lesson but will have live recordings and performances of the most important parts of their lessons. This cannot help but make the piano lessons more effective.
I can also bring little inspirational quotes and easily put it in each students notebook to personalize the student’s notebook. It will be much easier for me to get out universal messages to my students concerning recitals or auditions. As it is now it’s easy for me to forget a family or two concerning an upcoming event. Now it will be much easier to get my messages to parents. This only scratches the surface to what I can do through Tablet Computers in making my studio run more efficiently and more professionally.
EXPANDING CONVENIENCE CAN MEAN LESS TRAVEL FOR YOU!!
Another emerging technology that has emerged in the past few years is that of the teleconference; the connecting of people not only aurally but visually. Some means of doing this is Google Plus – Adobe Connect – and the popular SKYPE. SKPYE has become a popular platform for piano teachers to connect with student for a piano lesson. A WebCam (Web Camera) often included with laptop computers, an internet connection and SKYPE (a free download of SKYPE software HERE ) is all you need.
I know many people, both adults and children, would love to take piano lessons if only it could be made a little bit more convenient. Severino’s Piano Lessons PLUS is going to now offer a program of study where one can, for example, take only one lesson per month at my studio and the other lessons through SKYPE. This would be especially helpful for busy professionals wanting a self-study program. BUT with the advent of “cyber-schools” it is being found that young children can learn just fine through this type of computer technology. Many people are even getting college degrees learning at home with a minimum of visits to a local university. Please call my studio at (724) 935-2840 if this program interests you. On the table below are the basic plans I devised for my expanding service of “CYBER-PIANO LESSONS”
|PLAN 1||PLAN 2||PLAN 3||PLAN 4||PLAN 5||PLAN 6|
|30 minute PRIVATE||30 minute PRIVATE||45 minute PRIVATE||60 minute PRIVATE||45 minute PRIVATE||60 minute PRIVATE|
|20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE|
|20 minute SKYPE||30 minute PRIVATE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||45 minute PRIVATE||60 minute PRIVATE|
|20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE||20 minute SKYPE|
|90 minutes monthly||100 minutes monthly||105 minutes monthly||120 minutes monthly||130 minutes monthly||160 minutes monthly|
|$75.00 monthly||$83.35 monthly||$87.50 monthly||$100.00 monthly||$108.35 monthly||$133.35 monthly|
Some may have questions concerning the effectiveness of online piano lessons. Here is an encouraging note. Actually, the nature of the medium gives way to increased focus and concentration. Thus, one can more done in less time and actually costs can be contained. This is why I designed my SKYPE lessons to be 2o minutes in length and pass that savings on to you.
American Journal of Distance Education, 24(2), 92-103. Orman, E. K. and Whitaker, J. A. (2010).
Time usage during face-to-face and synchronous distance music lessons.
This experimental study closely compares multiple aspects of applied instrumental music lessons in face-to-face and online lesson settings. Three middle school students (one saxophonist, two tubists) had lessons with a saxophone and tuba instructor respectively. Each student had a mix of face-to-face and online video lessons which were videotaped and coded for a variety of factors. When on-line lessons were compared to face to face lessons, there was a 28% increase in student playing, a 36% decrease in off-task comments by the instructor, a 28% decrease in teacher playing (modeling), and an increase in student eye contact. In the online lessons, less than 3% of the time was spent on technology issues, although audio and video quality concerns were mentioned.
THE EXPANDED SERVICE OF MUSIC LESSONS IN YOUR HOME
I mentioned that I began my teaching career by going to my student’s homes. When I saw the great things computer technology could add to piano lessons I began to do all my teaching at my studio. Now with the advent of the new technologies including the tablet computer I can bring a large part of that technology from my studio to YOUR HOME. With a piece of equipment the size of a book, and a rather thin book at that, I can again offer piano lessons as part of my expanded services.
Again, if this is the type of convenience you need please don’t hesitate to call my studio at (724) 935-2840. CALL TODAY!!
These EXPANDED SERVICES actually only scratch the surface of the exciting options I have available to offer my students. My first studio, Severino’s Piano Keyboard Lab, had the byline – Where Traditional Instruction Meets Modern Technology; That byline is still true and growing at Severino’s Piano Lessons PLUS.
Posted in for Parents, Piano Teacher Press, tagged beginner piano, imagination, piano, piano education, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons Cranberry Twp PA, piano lessons Wexford PA, piano parents, piano pedagogy, piano teacher, piano teaching on March 12, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door
Only this, and nothing more.”
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
When life’s fierce orbit ensnared me,
Have you kindled my heart to warm love,
Carried me away into a better world!
A sweet, sacred chord of yours
Opened up for me the heaven of better times,
Oh lovely Art, for that I thank you!
Posted in for Parents, for Students, for Teachers, tagged beginner piano, imagination, inefficient method, Mr. Severino Presents, musical composition, piano instruction, piano lessons Cranberry Twp PA, piano lessons Gibsonia PA, piano lessons Wexford PA, piano parents, piano pedagogy, piano practice, piano student, puzzle piece, time signature on January 26, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The Practice Puzzle
How do I practice? How many times should I play through each piece? Is 3 or 5 times for each piece enough?
I’ve been asked this questions by students since I began teaching. In this short blog I want to give you a new way of thinking about practicing piano.
I think most beginning students approach practicing piano like they do putting together a puzzle. They dump all the pieces out of the box and put the pieces face up and begin to try to find matches. Very often this is done in a hit and miss fashion. You find a piece that “sort of” seems like it may fit; or “seems to” have the right color and experiment to see if it fits. With enough testing and experimentation eventually the picture emerges.
Many students practice this way. They play their piece from the beginning to the end. They think by doing it with enough repetitions and practice eventually the composition will emerge.
That is the longest and most inefficient method of practice we could devise. We need A NEW METHOD ….. A BETTER METHOD of practice.
Mr Severino Presents – A BETTER METHOD
Our goal is to put this puzzle together in only 25 MOVES.
That means we must be perfect. We cannot guess and try to put together pieces that “sort of” look like they “may” fit together. To put this puzzle together in only 25 MOVES we are going to have to concentrate and think carefully, unlike before where we just guessed our way through to the completion of the puzzle. We are going to have to closely examine each piece and imagine if the shape of one puzzle piece will fit into the other piece. We are going to have to examine each piece to see if the colors of each piece and then imagine if they are going to help complete the image of the puzzle.
How does this apply to our piano practice? We examine each “piece” of our musical composition.
Examine the “time signature”. If your piece is in 3/4 time, with your music in front of you begin to sense the accent on beat one of each measure. You may do these exercises with your piano in front of you or you can do them mentally. You want to train yourself to do as many of these steps as possible away from the piano. Not all piano practice must be in front of your piano!
Examine the “rhythm piece” of the composition. Mentally go through each rhythm and make sure you understand it. If you do not, isolate that rhythm, play it or clap it until you understand it.
This includes they important point of being able to how the right hand and left hand work together. Don’t go on until you understand how this rhythm is going to “feel” under your fingers.
Examine the “harmony”. Are there any chords that you know? You want to get to the point where you can easily identify all the chords in your compositions.
Examine the “key signature” If a composition has no key signature is it in C major or A minor. Search for the note C or the note A in the composition Search for C chords or Am chords.
Examine the “accidentals” Many students are thrown by accidentals when practicing by just slugging away and trying to learn by going through each piece 5 times. But if you are prepared by mentally going through each accidental you will be much more successful and make far fewer mistakes.
If we use this same approach in our piano practice our learning will be much better. And if we make this as the main method of learning our assignments we will be able to learn our assigned pieces much more rapidly. How would you like to learn 5 pieces in the time it now takes you to learn one? This will be within your capabilities if you learn how to practice with your strongest concentration.
Thanks for participating in Mr. Severino Presents. ‘TILL NEXT TIME — KEEP PRACTICING!!