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Blog posts : "General"

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…

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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…

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Idea Exchange: Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies

November 18, 2014

by Hanno Strydom

In this nine-minute video I share several of the key tools and strategies I use to keep my MacPhail cello studio running smoothly.

It is based on my recent MacPhail Music Learning Lab Idea Exchange session, Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies

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Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle

October 20, 2014

by Kristin Shoemaker

On October 10th a group of MacPhail Center for Music faculty members came together to talk about the importance of progress and its direct impact on student motivation. The discussion centered around findings from Amabile and Kramer’s book, The Progress Principle, and vetera…

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Advice from the Sages

October 15, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson

The recent September 27 Minnesota Orff workshop featured a lunch time panel discussion with three Orff Schulwerk master teachers: Judy Bond, Arvida Steen, and Jane Frazee.  They talked about their early experiences with Orff Schulwerk and answered questions from audience members…

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Minnesota Orff Report

October 7, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

The September 27 Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop, presented by Dr, Julie Scott, was on a favorite topic of mine: singing!  The title was: “Singing in Orff Schulwerk.”  Dr. Scott is a past president of AOSA, the national Orff Schulwerk association.  She was my recorder pedagogy…

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Friday Round Up

September 26, 2014

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Things I Learned During my First Year at MacPhail

July 21, 2014

By Julia Reeves Reeves.Julia@MacPhail.org

1.   In order to be an effective teacher and survive my first year, I need to be flexible and resilient. I think this has become my mantra for working in partnerships. The concept of control is one I struggled with a great deal when I first walked into a c…

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Building a Studio Website & Managing Your Schedule Online

July 11, 2014

This presentation was delivered by MacPhail faculty member, Beatrice Blanc, on July 9, 2014.

Video of the presentation is posted below. Click here for a PDF of the accompanying PowerPoint.

In the first part of her presentation Beatrice talked about building a website for her Suzuki violin studio;…

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Strategies for Consistent Practicing

May 21, 2014

Notes from Nancy Daley's presentation to Suzuki faculty on consistent practicing.


1. Get daily practice and listening topic out in the open! First lesson of Fall, I tell them what I expect

2. Don't ask amount of time because I just want to encourage regular…

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Percussion Pedagogy Notes

May 10, 2014

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

We set a world record the other day by getting 9 MacPhail percussion faculty in the same room at the same time. It was exciting to talk with other percussionists about teaching. Here are a couple notes which came up during the meeting and may be useful for…

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Video Game Design and Music Education Part 1

April 21, 2014

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Here is a quick summary from Friday's Idea Exchange session about what video game design can teach us about music Education. This session will be repeated: Wednesday, May 14th, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in Room 607

Why are games addictive:

  • They give mul…

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Incredible Music Teaching Apps for iPad

March 29, 2014

by Jeremy Hanson Hanson.Jeremy@MacPhail.org

Here are some apps for iPad that I use when teaching. If it is too small to read, click on the icon. You can also download the pdf here

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Suzuki Faculty Meeting

March 19, 2014

by Kamini LaRusso LaRusso.Kamini@MacPhail.org

On  Tuesday, March 4, 2014, Suzuki Violin Teacher, Susan Crawford, presented her ideas on working with older students who practice independently.  She mentioned that teachers often tell students what to do, rather than teaching the student to self reflect…

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Creating a Studio Newsletter with MailChimp

March 4, 2014

by David Birrow

One  idea that intrigued me from Philip Johnston's book The Dynamic Studio was sending out a monthly studio newsletter.Probably not a revelation, since I'm sure many of you already do this in one form or another, but I thought it'd be great to share more information with parents…

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Friday Round Up

February 21, 2014

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Two Part Question

February 12, 2014

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

This post is a 2-part open ended question about private lesson curriculum.

Part I: Among other things, two of my main goals when teaching are:

  1.  to have the instruction and content be relevant to the student's musical life
  2.  to make sure the student le…

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Steady Beat at Every Age

January 31, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

During my early experiences sharing music with young children, I was surprised by the rhythmic way infants responded to my singing and guitar playing.  Babies who could not yet walk or crawl would bounce up and down or move their arms rhythmically. …

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Creating Exciting Sound

January 27, 2014
by Cathy Smetana Smetana.Cathy@MacPhail.org


More than anyone else, my college piano professor Marvin Blickenstaff has shaped who I am as a teacher.  His influence has extended far beyond my undergraduate years as we have stayed close and I take advantage of every chance I have to hear him spea…

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Why build a studio website?

December 6, 2013
by Hanno Strydom Strydom.Hanno@MacPhail.org

I've changed the students' names, but these are real examples of feedback I've received during the student placement process this semester. Student recruitment is one of several potential benefits of maintaining an online presence for your studio—a websit…

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