by Dr. Julie Knerr

Snow, snow snow is the theme in Connecticut this winter. So it is a great day to curl up with a cup of coffee and write a blog post!

My first studio recital at Hartt Community Division, where I teach, was a few weeks ago. All in all, it went well. About 20 children played, and at least half of them had never played in a recital before. They each played between 3-5 pieces. I had two recitals, with 10 playing in each. Even though they all played so many pieces, each recital lasted only about 30 minutes! I really believe that short recitals are best for young pianists. It is better leaving the audience wanting more rather than having them looking at their watches and halfway through. For more …


By Katherine Fisher

Although the majority of my private students are studying intermediate and advanced repertoire, I also have a small class of six students starting in Piano Safari Level 1, and three of my private students are currently in Piano Safari Level 2. I enjoy teaching students of all ages, but find that teaching beginners really helps me hone and develop my teaching skills the most. Recently, I have noticed that my youngest students, in their boundless enthusiasm for new pieces, have not yet come to value mastery and refinement in their playing. As I was considering how to develop this as a priority in their own minds rather than just reviewing repertoire because I assigned it, I decided to try something new. Instead of passing them through each unit …


by Dr. Julie Knerr

In my new job at Hartt Community Division at University of Hartford in Connecticut (snowy Connecticut right now!), I travel between rooms to teach. This is quite an adjustment for me, as in Oklahoma and Ohio, I had a permanent teaching studio, with my books and props right there. However, the benefits of teaching in such a vibrant school setting outweigh the downsides of having  to carry my teaching stuff around from room to room each day.

In fact, I often feel like I look like the Music Man, as I carry my drum, pedal extender, carpet squares, and three bags of books and teaching aids around the building. But it is worth it when I see the children engaged in learning and excited about piano. I thought I …