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Reading Music and our Approach in Groups

IN my last blog post, I talked about the importance of nurturing independent learning skills in our groups and what that might look like.

In this post I am going to talk about how crucial it is that we set up the learning to ensure that our learners can be independent. The very success of our groups rely on it. If we send six children off to keyboards and they have no idea what to do or how to play the piece for the lesson, we would have a very difficult job on our hands.

I am certain that...

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Independent Learners in our Groups? Yes Absolutely!

group piano classses Jan 29, 2021

When I first started teaching group piano, I did lots of research about what the recognised benefits are. This was mainly because I, like so many people, had only ever experienced individual instruction when it comes to piano learning, and I needed to convince myself, as well as all the families that I would hopefully bring into my groups, that there were benefits that outweighed private lessons (beyond just the cost, because focusing on that creates problems with the...

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There's more than one way to…. offer groups!

group piano classses Jan 11, 2021

I am all-in on groups. I only teach groups, and my groups serve a very specific type of piano student: one that thrives in peer engagement, that learns best through creative means, and one who engages in music-making for the joy it can bring. 

And you know what? I think 2021 is going to be a great year for groups. We are all going to be craving social interaction, taking new opportunities, finding joy in our pursuits, and needing a cost-effective and accessible solution!

However, weekly...

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The Nutcracker Mini Workbook!

christmas resources Nov 05, 2020

The holiday season is a great time for those one-off mini projects that help everyone get into the spirit of Christmas! Most people, whether they are music students or not, would agree that music is such a key part of the season! So how about offering your group classes a mini one-off workbook, based on the story of The Nutcracker?!

Normally our workbooks would only be available to those who subscribe to the KeyNotes program, but we have decided to make this available to ALL teachers! We...

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Are your lessons inclusive?

theory of learning Jul 20, 2020


Are your lessons inclusive?

Like truly inclusive? And what does that actually mean?

Is this even an aim of yours?

Well I can tell you, it is certainly an aim of mine. Perhaps my number 1 aim. 

And I think if we, as music educators, truly believe in the empowering role of music in children's lives, it should be everyone's aim. We should want every child to have access to a high-quality music education.

Where does my passion for this stem from? 

I think music saves people....

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Returning to in-person group lessons

online teaching Jul 06, 2020

As we near the end of our term/semester here in the UK, and government legislation is allowing us to go back to in-person teaching, I have turned my attention to what a group lesson needs to look like now, in the new (and temporary) norm.

Whilst I am writing a risk assessment to share with both my parents and other KeyNotes program users, I thought it would be useful to share my thoughts, with the understanding that all our contexts are different, not just in our countries and states, but in...

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The biggest learning motivator for kids? Learning with their peers.

theory of learning Jun 20, 2020

Never ever did I think I would be saying this, but my kids have had three months off school!

Three months!

And by the time they go back it will be six months.

What a journey it has been, and we are not yet at the end, but as with any good journey, there have been some learnings along the way. And those learnings can often be applied both to my parenting, and to my teaching. I analyse these with both my hats on and find some fascinating insights. But there is one main insight I'd like to share...

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10 Last-Minute Activities to Pull Out!

online teaching Jun 08, 2020

It seems that many teachers are slowly transitioning back to in-person lessons, which is wonderful news!

For me, however, and probably many others, this still looks a long way off.

So I thought I would give you some helpful tips in the meantime!

In my normal lessons, there is some length of time within the lesson where students are on headphones, practicing, and I am running around giving feedback. moving them onto extension tasks where necessary, etc. I carefully organise the time, and have...

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Five great outcomes of online group piano lessons!

online teaching Apr 28, 2020

How are you getting on with your group lessons online?

You are probably relieved to be able to continue your teaching, but know that compromises are being made. Well that's certainly how I feel. However I am determined to look on the bright side!

Perhaps most importantly, I love the fact that my students are able to get together, work with each other and continue to make music. But we can go bigger than that.

There are many positives that are happening in our online lessons.

Here are five...

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Easter Lesson Online

online teaching Apr 07, 2020

You know something that I really didn't predict happening in the midst of a global pandemic? That it would mean I would start using PowerPoint again!

When I was a school teacher, using PowerPoint presentations to structure lessons, give visuals and lay out objectives and instructions, was very popular. In fact a little too popular if you ask me, and actually fairly soon we, as a teaching profession, were realising that students were moving around 6-7 lessons per day and being delivered...

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