Monday, October 27, 2008

Can I take piano lessons if I don't have a piano?

As a piano teacher, whenever someone approached me about piano lessons, the first question I asked of them was whether or not they had a piano to practice on. A piano student (or any music student) should practice a minimum of 30 minutes per day for 5 days per week. It is difficult to do this without a piano at home. An electronic keyboard will suffice for beginning piano students if it is at least five octaves long and has normal-sized keys.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holiday Music

It's hard to think about Christmas when Halloween isn't over yet, but the time for students to begin practicing Christmas music is now. Christmas recitals and concerts are usually scheduled one to three weeks before Christmas and it takes time to prepare. The choirs and bands that I teach meet only once per week for rehearsals, so we begin the fall semester every year by working on Christmas music.

There are many good Christmas books available for piano students: Bastien Christmas for Adults, Alfred's Basic Adult Christmas Hits, and Piano Adventures Christmas books, just to name a few. Christmas Favorites is a good Christmas collection available for solo band instruments. This year, one of the bands that I conduct is using Sounds of the Season. Each piece may be played as a solo or ensemble with any combination of instruments. Another good holiday ensemble series is Yamaha Christmas Ensemble.

Whatever music selections you choose, don't hesitate to begin preparing now for holiday concerts, holiday recitals, and holiday fun.

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