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Blog posts : "individual instruction"

“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 …

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Idea Exchange: Tips for Teaching Older Adults

August 10, 2015

By Tamra Brunn

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…

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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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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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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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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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Practice Technique: Never Again!

April 1, 2013

by Jeremy Hanson Hanson.Jeremy@MacPhail.org

As teachers, we’ve probably all heard a student exclaim, “I always make that mistake!” or “I always screw that up.”

I don’t know if you have this reaction, but for me, this is as bad as fingernails on a chalkboard.  We know that what students …

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8 Blog Posts