header photo

Blog posts : "General"

Finding Time to Play

October 22, 2017

by Cathy Smetana
Smetana.Cathy@MacPhail.org

I am, first and foremost, a teacher. I do not have a church job, or play for weddings, or do a lot of accompanying. I do not currently have a significant other with whom to share expenses and chores; in spite of my best efforts, my cat Pablo simply bli…

Read more

Learning Styles and Teaching: Recognizing Similarities and Differences

June 1, 2017

Music and the Brain: Melissa Wenszell, April 6, 2017

June 1, 2017

Developing Your Online Presence

October 18, 2016

by Hanno Strydom
Strydom.Hanno@MacPhail.org

I delivered this presentation, Developing Your Online Presence, at a MacPhail Music Learning Lab Idea Exchange on October 18, 2016.

This session is loaded with ideas about why and how to develop an online presence for yourself or your studio. Wi…

Read more

ENVoY Training Part 2

August 9, 2016

by Candis Parrish

In my last post, I emphasized the importance of non-verbal communication and outlined some of the factors the go into the way teachers present themselves in the classroom. This post will cover some practical things you can do in the classroom to improve your non-verbal communica…

Read more

ENVoY Training Part 1

August 9, 2016

By Candis Parrish

Do you ever feel like you’ve planned a standards driven lesson that’s both engaging and fun, only to have it fall flat because you spend more time dealing with behaviors than teaching your class?  Have you tried management systems like breaks and timeouts with limited success?  …

Read more

Incredible Music Teaching Apps for Ipad

August 9, 2016

Jeremy Hanson recently shared some apps that he uses while teaching piano. Click on the image below to view the pdf where you can click on each of the links to learn more. 

Read more

Highlights from NCKP 2015 (National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy)

October 29, 2015

By Cathy Smetana

In July, I was one of several hundred piano teachers to descend upon Lombard, Illinois for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.  I’ve attended this conference (or one of its predecessors) many times, and 2015 was one of the best years ever.

The conference is offere…

Read more

“Inspiration through Connection”

October 19, 2015

By Beth Turco 

During your lessons with students, do you feel the pressure to pack in all the information they need to know about technique, music theory and fundamental skills at the instrument? Isn't is difficult to remember to nurture the student's love of music? And how exactly can we …

Read more

Idea Exchange: Tips for Teaching Older Adults

August 10, 2015

By Tamra Brunn
Brunn.Tamra@MacPhail.org

The MacPhail Music for Life™ program is expanding at MacPhail Center for Music and we currently serve over 1,000 adults age 55+ in our student body! Earlier this month we gathered together a panel of experienced Music for Life teaching artists—Jeanie Bri…

Read more

Finding Appropriate Chamber Music Repertoire for Any Ensemble

July 29, 2015

by Jeremy Swider, Chamber Music Coordinator, MacPhail Center for Music
Swider.Jeremy@MacPhail.org

Do you coach chamber music ensembles? Are you in a student chamber ensemble? Do you have trouble finding music of an appropriate level of difficulty for your group or the groups you coach?

Jeremy…

Read more

Music Theory Tutorials

July 17, 2015
By J. Anthony Allen
 
Last summer, David Birrow and I made a series of music theory tutorial videos. Our hope was the these videos would serve to supplement lessons by teachers, who often find themselves explaining these concepts to students. We wanted to make a clear set of videos that went …

Read more

Growing in Flexibility: the (Online) Teaching Experience!

June 24, 2015

by Jennifer Geise
Geise.Jennifer@MacPhail.org

On June 5th I had the opportunity to share about my online piano teaching experience and specifically to talk on the importance of flexibility as a music teacher. Our audience was a great mix of experienced and new-to-online teachers from many instru…

Read more

5 Things I Didn't Know About Teaching Skype Lessons

May 6, 2015

by David Birrow Birrow.David@Macphail.org

Skype

When I started teaching online, I expected that Skype lessons would feel pretty much the same as my in-person​lessons. But now that I teach four or five Skype lessons a week, I know that my initial expectations were inaccurate. For instance, there are …

Read more

Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing

March 10, 2015

On March 6, 2015, Jennifer Niedzielski presented a workshop at MacPhail Center for Music entitled Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing. (See video at the bottom of this post.)

Click here to vie…

Read more

Tech in the Practice Room: Five iPhone/iPad Apps to Optimize Students’ Practice Time

March 3, 2015

By Guest Author:  Dr. Joel Salvo, Prof. of Cello - St. Cloud State University

During my days as a student, settling into a practice room was akin to setting up camp.  After unpacking my cello, I would empty a tote bag with my tuner, an oversized metronome, some recording gear, and a handful o…

Read more

Why I use my iPad: Communication, Motivation, Tangible Feedback & Music Access

February 26, 2015

by Tiana Malone
Malone.Tiana@MacPhail.org

Communication
In music therapy, communication with families, clients, other therapies and team members, and caregivers is very important. My iPad is an important tool for facilitating that communication.

Evernote is a cloud-based note taking program …

Read more

Setting and Communicating Boundaries with Parents

February 12, 2015

By Dr. Carlynn Savot
Savot.Carlynn@MacPhail.org

The working relationship between a music teacher and students and their parents is a unique one, and its scope can be difficult to define. To provide students with an inspiring and challenging learning environment—and at the same time keep our sani…

Read more

Idea Exchange: Capturing Great Video with Simple Devices

January 26, 2015
Content by Robert Luna | Post edited by Hanno Strydom

Toward the end of 2014 the MacPhail Music Learning Lab hosted guest presenter, Robert Luna, 
Creative Director & founder of Luna Creative Technologies, in two sessions about capturing great video using industry level approaches, adapted f…

Read more

Minnesota Orff Workshop Blog

December 4, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

On October 25th, I attended a Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop presented by the internationally known elemental music expert and master Orff Schulwerk teacher, Steve Calantropio.  I looked forward to this event for months, not only because of Mr. Calantropio’s excellence as a…

Read more

20 Blog Posts