Guest Post by Karen Marshall
Like many other musicians (and having musical children) I walk into the next two weeks packed with rehearsals, performances and concerts.
It is so easy to become stressed, anxious and to not remember that Christmas is suppose to be about joy (as I mentioned in my last year’s Christmas blog post).
Yet, I want to suggest that over these next two weeks we look out for the special musical gifts we can receive from children we teach over this festive period.
Continue reading Musical Christmas gifts from children
Sheet Music Review
When I reviewed Get Set! Piano about three years ago, I had never met either of the authors (Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond), but subsequently I have developed a friendship with both. And along the way, Pianodao has (with the generous agreement of Collins Music) become a highly visible hosting site for the many free downloads which accompany the Get Set! Piano series.
My review of the new Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers is therefore now offered in an obviously different context to my original review.
But I hope to be as objective as ever, writing as a teacher giving an insight into the uses of the material – and I hope you will agree that I can at least offer a factual description of its content! So let’s get started …
Continue reading Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers
Guest Post by Karen Marshall & David Blackwell
We are thrilled to be able to offer this Practice Advent Calendar to Pianodao readers.
The idea of a Practice Advent Calendar went down really well with Karen’s students last Christmas. That little bit of extra reward and recognition can be very helpful to motivate music practice.
The simple logo-like Christmas symbol illustrations (for each day in December up to the 24th) are line drawings for children to colour in.
We are excited to see finished advent calendars in the future so please do take pictures and show us them on social media. We’d love to see them!
We really hope it will inspire your students to do a little more practice this festive period but most of all, to have some fun!
Practice Advent Calendar [PDF Download]
Very best wishes, Karen Marshall and David Blackwell
All images and downloads included in this post are copyright Collins Music, shared with the kind permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Guest Post by Karen Marshall
Behind the scenes of Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers and its five aims.
The book was written between October and December last year, with all the materials tested with pupils in Karen Marshall’s teaching practice.
Karen and David spoke extensively to teachers to find out exactly what they were looking for in a Christmas book and ‘Get Set! Christmas Crackers’ was the result.
Here you get a ‘behind the scenes’ account of the ideas behind the pages and a quick summary of the main ‘Five Aims’.
Continue reading Behind the Scenes: Christmas Crackers
Sheet Music Review
Around this time last year, Faber Music unleashed The Intermediate Pianist series, co-authored by Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond. It was a solid success, warmly received by teachers and students alike, and in my Pianodao review I wrote:
“The Intermediate Pianist books get right to the heart of what learning music is really all about. This truly could prove a milestone publication – don’t miss it!”
As many readers will know, The Intermediate Pianist deservedly went on to win Best Print Resource at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence 2018.
This Autumn, it’s a joy to welcome the arrival of The Foundation Pianist, two companion books in Faber’s growing Piano Trainer series. This time, Karen is joined by new co-author David Blackwell.
Let’s see what’s included, and consider how these books might fit into a rounded curriculum for young pianists…
Continue reading The Foundation Pianist
Building a Library
The work of the independent piano teacher can be as varied as it is rewarding, and this throws up innumerable challenges on a regular basis.
Every student is unique, and each lesson different from the previous or next one. Holistic teaching requires not only a deep subject knowledge combined with pedagogic expertise, but also psychological insight, access to multiple teaching strategies and resources, tactful diplomacy and administrative efficiency.
It’s little wonder that many piano teachers struggle to be equally adroit in all these areas, or to have well-honed skill-sets to meet all these varied demands. And while answers to many of the questions we face – and situations which arise – are probably to be found in our previous knowledge, experience and common sense, it is nevertheless a huge asset to go through each day prepared for what may arise, and thoughtful of the ways in which we can improve as well-rounded teachers.
Help is at hand in a recent book written by Penny Stirling and Karen Marshall, and published by Collins Music.
Continue reading 100 Inspiring Ideas!
With the generous permission of Collins Music and author/composers Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond, the Pianodao site has for some time been a host to the many creative and useful FREE resources that accompany the excellent Get Set! Piano series of tutor books.
And these have proved super-popular with both teachers and students!
So it’s a pleasure to let you know that there is a new addition to the growing resource-bank available for download here.
This certificate of merit is, according to Karen,
“… a general certificate of merit for the series which teachers can use as they please. For some children there are some big achievements before they finish the book that need to be recognised. The design is pretty beautiful and if put on card I think will be really special for children.”
And Karen is at pains to mention that the certificate would be useful regardless of whether you happen to use the Get Set! Piano series or not:
“It also could be used what ever method is being used – as Get Set! is a word that can simply be a general term linked with piano learning.”
So what are you waiting for? Here is the FREE download for you to save and print off:
Get Set certificate Piano Certificate of merit
Once again, it’s a pleasure to be able to share these resources on this site, and do check out the whole collection of them here!
Collins Music have just made available a brand new FREE resource to accompany and support the Get Set! Piano series, written by Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond.
The latest additions to the stunning range of materials are a set of “Character” posters featuring the books’ popular Louis Legato, Suzie Staccato, Patrick Piano and Francesca Forte, as wonderfully illustrated by Julia Patton.
Each poster can be printed off as an A4 sheet to display in your teaching studio and use as a teaching and learning resource.
The complete set comes as a PDF file which Collins Music are generously offering on their own site, and by special permission, right here via Pianodao:
And many thanks indeed to the creators of Get Set! Piano and the lovely people at Collins Music.
You can also still find the full range of the Get Set! Piano downloads here.
And my review of the method books is here.
Sheet Music Review
The Intermediate Pianist series is a fresh and ground-breaking approach which is full of brilliant musical ideas. It’s sure to enable pianists to play with greater understanding and engagement, and comes very highly recommended.
Here’s the Pianodao review…
Continue reading The Intermediate Pianist