Using Rounds in Piano Teaching

Guest post by Karen Marshall

I was first introduced to singing rounds as a very young child at Primary school…

It was much later in life that I realised their potential for instrumental use. I can remember being quite miffed that – even though I learnt three instruments – I’d not played one round during any of my instrumental lessons.

I try to incorporate rounds into my piano teaching along with using them constantly in my choir and whole school singing assemblies (I work as a music specialist in a Primary School along side piano teaching).

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No One Method…

Guest Post by Karen Marshall

People may assume as an author of a method book I always use it. This simply is not the case. The right material is always my first consideration. And at times another tutor may be more suitable.

Perhaps for a very young beginner needing a slower progression or a teenager/adult needing something faster. Students have many different needs. I’m currently using alternative tutors with two beginners for those very reasons…

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Christine Brown Remembered

Guest Post by Karen Marshall

In memory of Christine Brown –  Died in September, 2009

christine-brownMy first meeting of Christine Brown was in my early teens.  I was playing at a concert for EPTA students in Ilkely.  And she at that time, I believe, organised the events.  I remember her smiling face and also rather big round glasses, with a large number of other teachers surrounding her.

It would be many years later that I had a lesson with Christine.  At 15 years I started having piano lessons with Christine’s best friend, Enid Oughtibridge, who would regularly mention Christine in our lessons – so there was still a link even then.

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How to teach scales effectively

Guest Post by Karen Marshall

As a young pianist I really struggled with scales.  In fact, I only passed the scale element in my music exams in Grade 1 and 8 and it wasn’t until doing my associated diploma (over 400 scales) that I fully mastered some patterns!

Because of my own struggles, I have spent a huge amount of time developing a wide range of activities for teaching scales.  My own students don’t struggle like I did.

It appears my weakness in learning scales has helped me develop some helpful techniques to teach them.  I share them here to provide some new ideas as we all embark on the new academic year trying to help our students master those repetitive patterns!

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Motivation: one size doesn’t fit all

Guest Post by Karen Marshall

What is motivation and how does it relate to music teaching?

Motivation is all to do with thoughts and tasks becoming actions.

There are 10,050 minutes between one 30 minute weekly music lesson and the next – or 10,020 minutes for a weekly hour music lesson.

Here are some ideas to hopefully motivate students to use the time in between lessons musically!

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A Practical Guide to Teaching Sight-Reading

Guest Post by Karen Marshall

My Lessons from Christine Brown on how to teach sight-reading

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