January WOWZERS – Soft Drinks in Piano Lessons, An Oldie, & Yours Truly

After a brief hiatus, WOWZERS is back! I’m sharing the top 3 podcasts, blog posts and books for piano teachers that made me say WOWZERS in January.

While I was busy as a bee running the 30 Day Studio Refresh I did still find some time for exploring more piano teaching ideas and inspiration. Squeezing a little continuing education into my schedule wherever I can is one of my top priorities.

My book of the month was the ‘Basic Principles of Pianoforte’ playing, an oldie but a goodie. I’m also sharing a wonderful video from Karen Lien, and a podcast featuring yours truly. Hope you find something to keep your teaching fires lit in this cold season.

The best resources for piano teachers

Top resources for piano teachers this month

This post contains some affiliate links. Buying from one of these links does not cost you anything, but I do receive a small referral fee for sending you which goes towards the cost of running this site. 

Basic Principles of Pianoforte Playing

Basic Principles of Pianoforte PlayingI’m always on the lookout for new books for piano teachers. This book was the focus of the ‘Piano Play-along’ by Elizabeth Gutierrez this month. Well, it’s normally a “play-along” but this one was actually a “read-along”.

Basic Principles of Pianoforte Playing‘ is definitely not new. And I have to say that the style of writing definitely reflects that. It’s written in a formal language that you probably wouldn’t see in most non-fiction books coming out today.

However, if you don’t mind working a little harder to read it, there are some wonderful nuggets of information in this little guy. It’s only 48 pages long and packed with thought-provoking gold. Here is one such gem:

“They hear jazz and ragtime from morning to night, and come to learn one rhythm and one rhythm only. They should be taught, early in life, all sorts of rhythmic designs.”

Of course we need to translate jazz and ragtime to pop, but once we have done that I think this still holds true today. Don’t you?

How many of your students struggle with triple metres? Probably quite a few. And how many songs do you hear on pop radio stations in triple metre? Basically none.

This book is definitely worth picking up, even if you only read a page or two at a time as food for thought. Thank you to Elizabeth Gutierrez for recommending it! Get the book on Amazon here for about $5 or so.

Coke-Pepsi Rhythm Activity

Coke Pepsi rhythm activity Karen LienI adore this Coke and Pepsi focus activity from Karen Lien, and I can tell the student in the video does too.

I know Karen from Tim Topham’s Inner Circle. She’s full of life, laughter and buzzing with creative piano teaching ideas. This one is no exception.

Inspired by a question in her Inner Circle Spotlight she has been blogging about her favourite focus activities. I really enjoyed how she took this one from a gross movement exercise, to a simple piano rhythm, all the way through to improvisation. I’m going to be using this one for sure in my lessons very soon. 🙂

The Full Voice with…Me!

The Full Voice Podcast with Nikki LoneyIn case you missed it, at the start of January I did this interview with Nikki Loney on ‘The Full Voice Podcast’. I’ve mentioned Nikki’s podcast on the blog before and although it’s primarily for voice teachers, many of the episodes are just as applicable to all music teachers.

This interview was so much fun to do. I loved getting to chat with Nikki about the 30 Day Studio Refresh, singing in the piano studio, business organisation and lots else besides.

Take a listen and subscribe to the podcast while you’re at it, Nikki does some wonderful interviews on all areas of music and teaching.

What inspired your piano teaching this January?

Did you find some inspiration in the 30 Day Studio Refresh here on Colourful Keys? Perhaps you read an article that made you see something in a new light? Do you have books for piano teachers that you want to recommend?

I’d love to hear what fueled your teaching in the darkest month of the year.

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