RCM

What does pizza have to do with studying music theory?

My students and I had our first music theory study and pizza party this weekend. It was an enjoyable experience for students and teacher alike.

Music Examination Systems in Canada

An overview of the music conservatories used in Canada and the music examination boards, including RCM, ConCan and CNCM.

Using the Circle of Fifths to Practice Technique

This popped into my head while I was teaching a lesson  last week. I asked my student to play her Grade 8 piano technique by going through the Circle of Fifths. Not only was it quickly evident that my student needs to review her key signatures, but it also was clear that she was used to practicing her technique in a certain order. However, during a music examination, you have no clue which of the required technical elements you will be asked to play. It is important to mix things up regularly.

In this piano lesson tutorial, I demonstrate what how my student practiced her piano technique using the Circle of Fifths approach.

Ideas for Practicing Piano Technique

Try as I might, some students just loathe practicing their technical exercises. You know the ones - scales, chords and arpeggios. I must admit that when I was their age, I wasn't too keen on practicing them either. However, if you want to "level up" and/or ace this portion of your music examination, you can't get away from it. You have to practice them. A lot.

If I have to ask my students to play a scale more than once in a lesson, I ask my them to play to play it differently. For instance, if a student played it legato the first time, they could play it staccato the second time.

But why stop there? Change the rhythm and make it sound like a real tune. Zig-zag back and forth so it doesn't sound like a scale. Change where you place the accents so that it's on every fifth note instead of every second or third.

The bottom line is that some degree of repetition is needed, so why not make it interesting for yourself?

Sheet Music Plus and Passive Income Streams

I like to shop locally whenever possible. However, sometimes it's just much more economical and just gosh darn convenient to shop online. Digital orders are just a couple of clicks away. You see with the ads on the side that I'm affiliated with Amazon. If you check out the ads, you'll see that I'm actually able to tailor them so that you will see music related items. Teachers, you can do this on your studio website and/or your blog, providing that your account allows you to host ads (for instance, Wordpress.com blogs don't allow ads but Wordpress.org blogs do).

Now, there is another joint in town though that sells a great selection of print and digital sheet music, learning aids and other musical goodies - Sheetmusicplus.com , This is the place that Rideau Music directed their customers to when Gill brothers closed their doors last year.

One of the cool things is that music teachers can create music lists for their students. Anything to make it easier for our busy piano parents to buy the right materials, I say. Some of my piano parents already shop online for sheet music.

Here are my lists:

Fellow music teachers, if you sign up for a teacher account, you can register for their Easy Rebates for Music Teachers program. You can earn 8% cash back on your sheet music purchases. Not only that, by creating music lists and sharing them with your students, family and friends, you will earn a little bit with every sale.

If you're looking for an additional income stream that requires very little effort, check this out. Just bear in mind that as with any passive income stream online, it does take time to build up your presence. You will need to go in an occasionally tweak the keywords and update your lists. You will also need to remember to periodically share the lists with your network of family, friends and students via print, email, your website and/or social networking.

Good luck and happy shopping!