Mar 312012
The Baggage Fossils Bring to Their LessonsAdults bring a great deal of baggage with them to their lessons because of their history with music and education. They come insecure about their musical knowledge and afraid of the power they feel in music. Their memories of teachers are mixed. They are justifiably cautious about starting a relationship with a new one. Further, adults misunderstand the learning process as it relates to piano. read the rest
Feb 282012
Finding the Kinesthetic Feeling of Rhythm

The Problem

Rhythmic pulse is spontaneous and visceral, straight from the mind of the body. Counting out loud feels forced and comes straight from the mind of words and concepts. A basic task for any student is to bring these two minds together to form the rhythmic unity which is the energy of music. Finding this unity is especially difficult for adult students. read the rest
Feb 282012
This is the transcript of my presentation given at the Levine Summer 2005 Pedagogy Workshop at the new Strathmore Arts Center on August 25, 2005. This workshop was sponsored by the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC. A Buddhist legend tells of the Prince of the mythological kingdom of Shambhala coming to the Buddha saying: Our people revere your teachings, but we cannot all become monks for we must work, have children and do the other activities that make life possible. read the rest
Feb 282012
Overcoming the Power of Old Myths: Public and PrivateWhen people learn that I teach adults, I’m always taken aback when they say:  “It must be so much more satisfying teaching adults than children because you know adults are taking lessons because they want to. This is today’s first myth. There is a prevalent misconception that teaching adults is easy. It’s just not true. Yes, adults want their lessons (so do my young students, for that matter) but wanting something doesn’t automatically provide motivation. read the rest