First order of business, just wanted to wish all the mothers, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Our family is meeting up with my brother and his wife near where they live to eat dinner together and celebrate :)
So in a previous post, I've written about why piano is the best instrument to begin music studies and private lessons with.
You can learn about the different reasons here: Best First Instrument.
Here's a different perspective! A guest post from Joseph Primavera, a guitar teacher and performer in Philadelphia. He brings insight and expertise on the guitar that I don't have and make comparisons between piano and guitar that I've never even thought of; he also points out things about the piano that I've just taken for granted.
Have you ever wondered what somebody with a Ph.D. in Education thinks about music education? Well I'm here to tell you--your wait is over!
Okay, even if you've never wondered that in your life, my brother recently passed his dissertation defense and received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Irvine. If you want proof, to the left is a picture of him making his presentation in for the professors. As you will see, his writing is a lot more research-y than my blog posts, enjoy :)
Many people are already aware of the more 'scientific' benefits of piano lessons; studies of increased brain development and intelligence have been well-documented by various researchers.
However, there are other awesome benefits that come with taking piano lessons that are talked about less often--benefits that I feel are more important and beneficial than the scientific ones--mainly, the character that results from continued lessons. Improved brain development takes months; character building take years.
With that in mind, I'm starting with what I think is the most important character trait that results from years of piano lessons.
“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.”
Ask any musician who's had experience performing and they'll tell you what a big role confidence plays in their performances. In a high-pressured setting like performing in front of an audience, confidence can mean the difference between a disastrous and a phenomenal performance. Not only that, but a confident body language also greatly affects how the audience perceives you.
While there are many things a student can do to build and increase confidence--in fact there's a great chapter in Barry Green's The Mastery of Music about building confidence in music that I'll write about in another post--this one is super easy. What if I shared with you a scientifically proven way to increase your testosterone(confidence) level, and lower your cortisol(stress) level easily and all in under 2 minutes?
This is the video of a surprisingly touching TED talk by Amy Cuddy, a Harvard researcher, on the power of "power posing"; taking on a posture of confidence regardless of how we actually feel.
This is Part 4 of my interview with Dr. J. Mitzi Kolar, some of the topics we covered in this segment is listed below. For better audio quality, you can listen to just the audio with the audio player or download the audio file.
In Part 1 we talked about the development of the piano pedagogy field and Dr. Kolar gave some some inside look at the thought process that goes into writing a piano method book. In Part 2 we discussed pedagogical issues in teaching Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin's music. Part 3 talks about difficulties about Rachmaninoff and Kabalevsky's pieces along with different ways to teach rubato, a secret to concert pianist's playing, and why method books include lyrics in their pieces.
Sorry for the blurry video again...
Here are some of the topics we covered in the fourth part of the interview:
Like this interview? Learned something? Let us know in the comments!
Piano Repertoire Guide Resource Recommendations:
Piano Teaching Resource Recommendations:
By the way, these are affiliate links to Amazon so I'd probably get a few cents if you purchase using these links. If you care then feel free to search for these yourself on Amazon :), if you don't care, I appreciate it! :)
FreshStart Piano Studio in Irvine offers piano lessons for beginners between the ages of 4-adults and a fresh start for intermediate & advanced students. Enroll in piano lessons now!