musical reflections



Would you like to receive this same great content - and more - in your inbox once a month? Music Notes is full of practice tips; resources for piano teachers, collaborative pianists, and other musicians; and inspiration for your musical projects!



Do you want more frequent updates? Follow the Musical Reflections blog on Feedly, and get an update every time I post!

Recital Program Themes

Do you need a theme for your next recital? Or maybe you just want to mix things up a bit…beyond the usual chronological or leveled order? Try some of these ideas:

  1. Melodic Exposition. Choose pieces with a strong or memorable…
Read more

What Key is it in?

How do you figure out what key you are playing (or singing) in?

Often a piece will begin or end on the tonic, or the “home” note of a scale. A scale is an arrangement of pitches, or notes, that…

Read more

Fun with Rhythm Playing Cards

Are you a card player? I grew up in a family that loved playing cards. In fact, we have a family version of Gin Rummy that we call “Dummy Rummy” and we play it so often that my kids find…

Read more

Troubled Water

I am preparing Margaret Bonds' "Troubled Water" for performance at the Katherine L. White Invitational, and in doing so I have been reflecting on the words of the spiritual she quotes in the work:

Wade in the water,
Wade in…

Read more

Penguin Piano: Keyboard Geography Game

Beginner piano students need lots of varied practice with keyboard geography, and they can do it on and off the keys! I designed this game for a student of mine who is going on vacation for two weeks and will…

Read more

Note Reading Games

After you have introduced note names, it is time to practice! Flashcards are a good start, but how about a new game with a SURPRISE element?

Staff Explosion is a brand new game that helps you teach and review note…

Read more

Piano Lesson Planning

How many times do you finish teaching lessons, only to sit down to plan for next week – and you have forgotten what each student is working on?! I am always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. Being…

Read more

Piano Teaching: What is Working for Me This Year

I have taught piano lessons on and off through the years, depending on what my job/gig schedule looks like, family life, church commitments, etc. This past fall I returned to teaching with a new goal: build a studio/schedule that works…

Read more

Creating a Life in Music

In my life, I have been fortunate to ride on the backs of mentors who had incredible vision and admirable work ethic. Because of them, rarely have I felt the need to create my own musical path or seek opportunities…

Read more