How to Practice Piano at Home

We have all heard the statistics about how studying and playing music makes children smarter, or at least helps them get better grades. I’m sure there are many reasons for that, but I believe the primary reason is because learning an instrument takes practice, builds discipline, determination, patience, and resilience. You might say it builds character. And all those character traits make a very good student, whether in primary school or the school of life.

To make the most of your child’s piano lessons, it’s important to establish a consistent practice routine. Unlike most sports where kids meet for multiple guided practices throughout the week, piano students are expected to practice individually at home. Figuring out how to practice can be a process, especially for a young student. It’s common for parents to experience frustration in this department (“Getting Timmy to practice is a non-stop battle!”), but with a few basic guidelines it’s possible to facilitate an effective practice routine for your child.

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July 2018 Group Lessons

Five times a year, Leslie’s Music Studio hosts group lessons to give private piano students an opportunity to perform for their peers, reflect on and analyze performances, and enhance their knowledge of music theory with engaging group games. According to an article in American Music Teacher, “Today’s educational experts recommend an instructional model that includes engagement, exploration, explanation, application, evaluation, reflection and extension.” See below for a summary of our group lesson activities from July 2018!

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Dennis Alexander Workshop

IMG_9259On April 18, 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite composers: Dennis Alexander. He debuted a new duet and presented a piano pedagogy workshop at Schmitt Music, covering teaching topics such as composition, playing by ear, and engaging students of all levels with quality repertoire.

It just so happens that Dennis Alexander and I are distant relatives! My husband’s great aunt is Dennis’ aunt. I will take that as my claim to fame!

Two of my favorite compositions by Dennis Alexander:

  • Toccata Brillante, Intermediate Piano Solo
  • King Tut, Late Elementary Piano Solo

Click here for a complete list of his compositions.