By Katherine Fisher

This past fall when Julie and I were writing Technique Book 3, we decided to include Hanon Exercise No. 1. This was not a decision we made lightly. After all, there have been many impassioned posts on Facebook recently from teachers about either the benefits or drawbacks of students studying Hanon. It seems his exercises have become somewhat controversial in online discussions! With this said, we feel that the benefits far outweigh any negatives, so in this blog post I hope to explain our rationale about how Hanon may be used to enhance the technical development of early intermediate students.

First, we encourage students to play Hanon with multiple rhythmic and articulation variations. This prevents the dry and lifeless repetitions that so many teachers and students object to. We …


By Dr. Julie Knerr

This past Saturday one of my students in Piano Safari Level 2 played her Mini Recital.

What is a Mini Recital?

A Mini Recital is a recital solely for that student, with family and friends in attendance. I don’t know if you had the same experience that I did, but my first time playing a solo recital featuring only me was my Senior Recital in college. It was terrifying!!! Why not begin playing your own solo recitals when you are young?

Ingredients for a Mini Recital:

Student with 6-12 pieces prepared
Family and friends
Mini Recital Program
Mini cupcakes!

How Long is the Mini Recital:

Since my student is 8 and in Piano Safari Level 2, her pieces are quite short. She prepared and memorized six pieces. Her parents, brother, grandma, grandpa, and two of her friends attended. The …