Music School

2005, 2015

On the Spot: Czerny and the Role of Improvisation in Classical Piano Education

By |May 20, 2015|Improvisation, Memorization, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Talent, Teaching|

Thank you so much for your patience as I finished up a busy semester! As my first post back, I thought I’d share one of the things I was up to while I was gone. Below you’ll find my music history research paper. It’s kind of long for a blog post, so I’ve included an abstract too. Enjoy!

Abstract:
Throughout his career as a piano instructor, Carl Czerny emphasized teaching improvisation, an art that may have contributed to the harmonic understanding, technical development, and musical memory of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pianists. Improvising publicly was common practice during Czerny’s life. His treatise on […]

903, 2015

How to Pick Good Music Schools

By |March 9, 2015|Expectations, Melody's Story, Music School|

It’s easy to find a list of good music schools. According to FindTheBest.com, the top ten are

But what makes a music school a top school? Are the “best” music schools in the United States necessarily good music schools for you?
How Rankings Are Done
FindTheBest.com’s rankings are “calculated by looking at representation of alumni in ten major orchestras, 2013 Grammy Awards recipients, and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival participants.” Though this can be helpful if these are your goals, it does not consider many other aspects of what makes a good music program.

Other college ranking services calculate music school rankings using other […]

1502, 2015

Finding Motivation to Practice

By |February 15, 2015|Expectations, Motivation, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Work Ethic|

Are you having one of those days? Are you looking for every possible reason why you don’t actually have to practice today. I can relate. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just finding the motivation to practice. So what do we do when we don’t feel like practicing?

1) Just start

If you just start practicing, you’ll often notice that you want to finish what you’ve begun. Once you’ve started, it’s much easier to keep practicing longer.

2) Plan to do it first thing in the morning

Having a specific plan for when you practice will help. Often doing it first thing in the morning […]

1210, 2014

5 Skills to Develop Before Music School

By |October 12, 2014|Melody's Story, Music School, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

I’ve been blessed with incredible piano teachers that have prepared me wonderfully for music school. But music is such a huge field, and there’s only so much you can cover in 30 minutes or even 1 hour per week. Teachers must prioritize and decide how to best use the small amounts of time they have. I’ve faced this challenge weekly for years, and still haven’t figured it out. Obviously, as private instrument teachers, the main goal is to teach performance of the instrument. We want to work on pieces with our students. Most piano teachers also find it incredibly important […]

1409, 2014

Practice vs. Play: The Constant Struggle For Efficient Practice

By |September 14, 2014|Music School, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

My violinist friend and her pianist sister finish playing a short piece for their family’s friends. Making music together is so much fun! “It must be so wonderful having kids who play instruments!” their guests tell my friends’ parents. Their parents look at each other, thinking, “This isn’t what they sound like for hours every day . . . there’s a big difference between playing and practicing.” At least there should be.

Learning to Practice
Have you ever considered that you or your students need to learn to practice? We want to learn to perform, of course, but in order to do […]

2608, 2014

What I’ve Learned From Being Surrounded By the Best

By |August 26, 2014|Expectations, Melody's Story, Music School|

I applied to three music schools. Ithaca College was the hardest to get in to—one of the reasons I chose to attend. I feel like I don’t quite fit in there because I’m surrounded by such outstanding musicians every day. Sometimes I wonder why I’m in music school since I’m so terrible, but I have to remind myself that I’m surrounded by the best. It’s amazing how strange I feel when someone from outside the music school, even someone I would consider a good musician, comments on my skill as a pianist. Really? Oh yeah, I guess around most “normal” […]