By Dr. Julie Knerr

This week in my studio is the last week of lessons (aside from some snow makeups) and the week before the recital (which is this Saturday). What to do during this last lesson? Have a piano zip line!

It’s easy to do. It took me about 10 minutes to set up. I strung yarn around my dining room and clothes pinned directions to the yarn. The children follow the yarn with their finger and do what each sign says.

Here is what my dining room looks like now. Haha. I don’t think I’ll be eating dinner in here this week. It is adjacent to the living room (to the right), which is adjacent to my piano room.

After the first sign said they had to play their recital pieces … Read More

By Dr. Julie Knerr

This past week I had two young students play the Improvisation Piece “Thunderstorm Over the Prairie” found in Piano Safari Level 1.

They both came up with great, but extremely different, improvisations.

Thunderstorm Number 1

The student below is 6, almost 7, and she recently started studying with me as a transfer student. She had not done any improvisation before, so was a bit hesitant to create music for the beautiful art she colored at home:

But as you will see from the video, by the end of the piece, she was starting to understand that she can create sounds at the piano to create a great sounding piece.

Thunderstorm Number 2

The second student is 6 years old. She has studied violin for several years and started piano in … Read More

By Dr. Julie Knerr

We thank everyone who attended our Piano Safari Summer Institute this past weekend in Athens, Ohio. It was a wonderful, pedagogy-packed event. We really enjoyed meeting teachers from OH, KY, PA, NC, NY, IL, VA, AL, and even Australia. If you missed it, don’t worry! We have another summer institute planned for Saturday, July 23 in Westport, Connecticut. Here is the Registration page. We would love to have you join us!

One of the topics we discussed at the Piano Safari Summer Institute was how teaching Rote Pieces in the beginning of study, alongside a systematic reading system, can enhance not only a student’s motivation and aural training, but also their Concentration, Confidence, Keyboard Orientation, Reading (yes, it’s really true!), Pattern Recognition, Rhythm, Technique, and Artistry.

In this blog post, I would … Read More