Are you ready to see some more WOWZERS? Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading, listening and exploring.
This month, like most teachers, I’ve had a lighter student load. While I’ve been using some of that extra time to work on some new teaching resources – I’ve also been getting some inspiration and excitement for the coming academic year.
It’s important that we use this time to recharge our batteries, but also to get ahead on some of the things we might not get time for during the year. With that in mind, my three WOWZERS this month are a diverse group of inspirations and encouragements.
I hope you find something new, or something old you forgot about. 😉
Let’s get one thing out of the way. No one has asked me to write about these resources, however some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything but means that Amazon will send me a small commission for sending a customer their way. These commissions help me to keep this site running, so thank you!
The Pattern Play books aren’t new to me, and they may not be new to you either. I find several teachers mentioning though, that they have them sitting on their shelves but they either forget, or are too intimidated to use them.
Don’t be scared! These books are actually so easy to use, and so flexible. I really find them to be one of the best ways to incorporate improvisation as a classically trained teacher.
The books explore tons of different genres to improvise in, including jazz/blues, world music and classical. Each improvisation starts with an accompaniment pattern and a scale. You can have the student use this scale to improvise while you play the accompaniment pattern. Easy. After this there are options for having the student accompany themselves, or sometimes to split the improv into a trio, or do other fancy things.
I think for some teachers it’s these different options that make them not jump in. The options are wonderful, but even if you just use them as teacher-student duets I think it will be money well spent.
So if you have them already, pick one duet to try out this week. If you don’t have them and want an easy way to include improvising in your lessons, definitely pick them up!
Let’s get one thing out of the way. No one has asked me to write about these resources, however some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything but means that Amazon will send me a small commission for sending a customer their way. These commissions help me to keep this site running, so thank you!
I’ve was listening to some episodes of this lovely podcast while putting together rhythm vocab cards last week. Dacia Clay has conversations with various classical music aficionados to try to learn more about the world of classical music.
In each episode, her guest choses a favourite work to teach introduce to Dacia. My favourite episodes so far were the episodes on tone poems with Amy Bishop and the Leitmotif in Star Wars with Brent Mitchell.
Although many piano teachers will already know most of the works discussed, it’s still enjoyable listening. More importantly though, I think this podcast would be fantastic for teen students and piano parents who want an introduction to the classical music world.
Diane Hidy wrote this post a while back and I think now is a good time for a reminder. As most of us get ready for the new teaching year we’re getting new enquiries and organising our autumn schedules. Remember to use that precious word “no” whenever you want to.
As Diane says:
“We have something to give and we should give it if and when we want to. We should be paid when we want to. (Almost always.) And we get to make the choice about which is which.”
You get to make the choice about which is which. Not someone else, you.
So before people start making demands and requests on your precious time, take a read through Diane’s article. Heed the words of wisdom, say no unless you really want or need to say yes.
What piano teaching resources have made you say WOWZERS?
Was there something you saw or heard this month that made you think differently?
Did you find some new inspiration in today’s post?
Leave your favourite resource in the comments, I’d love to see what’s fueling your teaching fire this month!