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. … Read 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 … Read More

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 … Read More