15 Things You Need to Know About Supporting Your Child Learning to Play the Piano

suede5402:

Has some really great insights. Especially nos. 3, 5, and 9. I may print this out and distribute to students!

Originally posted on Elissa Milne:

This list was first published in It Takes Two Generations at the end of 2013. 

If you’re a parent who has no background in playing a musical instrument it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of things the piano teacher accidentally takes for granted along the way. Don’t be overly worried about this – the teacher won’t have enough time in each lesson to fill in all the gaps and still keep your child engaged and enthused about their learning, but as time passes you’ll become expert at supporting your child’s musical education.

Here are the absolute basics that you need to know to be able to support your family’s journey into profound musicianship:

1. You simply cannot miss lessons. Unless you’ve just had a car accident, your child has a communicable disease, or your grandmother’s funeral couldn’t be scheduled any other day. Your child having extra homework that…

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Moving!

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We are jumping ship from our present wordpress home and putting our blog where it belongs – on our regular website.  Find future posts (and old ones as soon as we migrate them) here!

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Free treble clef note reading worksheet

I’ve added a new worksheet that you can download for free. In order to get it, you’ll need to like my Facebook page. Once you’ve done that, find the tab that says Fan Freebies and follow the links.  You can see a preview of the worksheet below.  Let me know if you have any trouble downloading it.

note identification

The worksheet itself is a treble clef note ID worksheet.  It uses C position, Middle C position, and G position notes (or C4 through D5).  As a little lagniappe, there are some vocabulary questions at the end.

Piano Teacher NOLA

PS.  This worksheet was created using the VexTab Music Notation Add-on for Google Docs.  If you haven’t tried it, you should!  It’s great for making simple worksheets.

PPS.  Unfortunately, VexTab doesn’t allow notation on a grand staff, so it is somewhat limited.  But then again, it’s freeeee!

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File fixed! Iko Iko sheet music should work now

Hi everyone.  A couple of commenters have pointed out to me that the file I shared awhile back for the Carnival classic “Iko Iko” was corrupt, so I’m going to re-upload it.  Let me know if this one doesn’t work.

Link follows the gratuitous puppy pic:

Piano lessons new orleans

Just for fun. My pup Petunia dressed up for Mardi Gras

Get the music.

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New Google Doc Add-on Vex-Tab Music Notation + Free Worksheet

I was browsing on reddit as I am sometimes wont to do, and I learned about the new and exciting music notation tool for Google Docs.  For those of you not familiar with Google Docs, think of it as basically a free version of Microsoft Office provided by Google.  One significant difference between Google Docs and Office though is that Docs automatically backs up your documents online (not saved on your computer).

Anyway, enough about Docs.  The important news is that you can now use an add-on with Docs to notate music (for free!)  VexTab enables you to code music into your document and seems pretty easy to learn.  I spent about 15 minutes using it to create this worksheet (available in full on PianoTeacherNOLA’s Facebook page):

Music theory worksheet

Here’s an image of the editing window for the first line of music, so you can see how un-scary it is to use.  The green box shows what you type (and the music that results appears above it).

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It’s actually pretty intuitive.  You get to divide up your music into measures and type the notes thru note + octave notation.  I haven’t messed with different note values other than the quarter note yet, but it was very easy to change time signatures – all you do is change the value in “time=?” spot.

This is going to come in handy, I can tell.

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It’s Mardi Gras! Check out this awesome free sheet music for a New Orleans piano classic..

I’ve been obsessed with Allen Toussaint’s version of Tipitina and Me off of the post-Katrina compilation Our New Orleans

It’s a really refreshingly different version of the piece.  For reference, I’m going to link to a few famous versions first:

Professor Longhair:

Dr. John

James Booker

(Randomly, Hugh Laurie)

So, here’s the Allen Toussaint version that just blew me away for being such a refreshingly different take on this New Orleans classic:

Tipitina and MeAnd, here’s what you really came for, the sheet music.  This version has been, thankfully, transcribed (for free!) by Steve Castallano on his website.  As far as I know, it’s not available anywhere else.  A word of warning, this is an advanced piano piece that could probably be turned into a real mess by a less-than-discerning performer.

Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Free Practice Chart

For Valentine’s day, spread a little love using a practice chart with hearts.

Available on my website, here.

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