Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some Guitar Resources

Since I teach both piano and guitar, I'm always on the lookout for new resources online for both piano and guitar - or either.
This past week I've come across three different websites that I've found interesting.
Classical Guitar Review - has some great resources and exercises
Classical Guitar Corner - has some good exercises and good information to help with improving your skills
Anton Emery Celtic Guitar - Anton's blog has some good information on fingerstyle guitar playing, especially for Celtic music

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some Online Resources for Lessons

The internet has a vast store of resources available that can help you in regards to your lessons, whether you are a teacher or a student.

Activities with Legos -

Lists of Resources on a wide variety of subjects –

Lesson Plans and Worksheets -

Free Online Books (mostly public domain books) -

Disclaimer: These recommendations are purely my own, based upon what I personally have found helpful.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thoughts on Reading

Even a cursory glance at this blog will tell you that I do a considerable amount of reading. While this is partly due to the fact that I enjoy reading, this is more so due to the fact that I think reading is important.

Why, however is reading important?

- It's an easy way to keep yourself educated.

We hear a lot about continuing education. Reading – and understanding what you read – is a manageable way to learn more, to keep up with your field, and to expand your knowledge into new areas.

- It does not have to cost a lot of money.

You can pick up a book for a handful of dollars, or go to your local library and borrow the book from there.

If you're more into reading things online, Project Gutenberg has an extensive library of books that are available for free through the public domain. Also, Daily Lit will send you portions of a book to read through your e-mail.

- It can open up new opportunities.

As you spend time reading, you will continue to expand your knowledge. As you learn more, who knows what new opportunities will come to you because of your new knowledge.

Do you have a favorite book to recommend?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review – Note by Note by Tricia Tunstall

Another book that I finished reading lately is Note by Note Tricia Tunstall. I appreciated her description of approaching various aspects of teaching piano.

Here are two quotes that particularly stood out to me:

"Piano lessons are not only about music but also about trust and confidence, chaos and order, spontaneity and discipline and patience, sometimes even about love . . . and once again, and always, about music: its beauty, its power, its capacity to convey profound emotions beyond the reach of words." (pg. 4)

"As a student moves beyond the beginning stages, the issue of technique begins to loom large: developing proper hand a finger position, acquiring strength and independence of fingers, cultivating muscle control. An instrumentalist is an athlete. There is no way around the need for intense physical training; without it, the ability to play a Beethoven sonata is about as unlikely as the ability to pole-vault. But while pole-vaulters and soccer players and gymnasts usually practice together, a piano student practices his technical exercises alone, and it can feel like drudgery." (page 90)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review – Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy

I recently finished reading Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy. In this book, Goldsworthy not only narrates her path as a piano student and a maturing adolescent, she also gives voice to the growing relationship between her and her piano teacher, Eleonora Sivan.

There were two main things that stood out to me as I read this book. First of all, Goldsworthy by explaining Sivan's philosophy expresses a well-balanced perspective on music and music competitions. Her emphasis is that music is meant to be shared, and a music competition is just another means to share music. The focus then is on the music and not on the competition itself. Secondly, Goldsworthy throughout her narration outlines the friendship, mentorship, and closeness that develops between teacher and student. She describes a rich friendship and mentorship that grows throughout the days, weeks, and months as teacher and student work together.

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