Author: David Hendra (Page 2 of 4)

The power of the sticker: Gold Star motivation for young pianists!

When I taught in a primary school, I received regular advertising from companies selling ‘motivational’ stickers in many shapes and sizes, together with personal progress cards and wall charts.  When I became a private music teacher I continued to use them with younger pupils.  These self-adhesive little bits of nothing contain a magic of their own…

Shiny stars, “Well Done” medals, “Good Effort” awards, “I’m a Star” badges – they all work wonders!  These days as a humble piano teacher I’ve reduced the wealth of my stock down to the bare minimum of coloured and gold stars.  Do well in your lesson – you’ll get a coloured star.  If you’ve tried really hard I might even let you choose which colour. Continue reading

Is your piano teacher a scruff?

Different people expect different things from their music teacher, but what’s really important? Is it the qualifications they hold? Or the skill with which they teach? Is it the price of lessons? Or does their professional appearance and tidy studio matter, too? During a recent ‘tidying up’ session I got to thinking…

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Recently I realised that my Teaching Room was looking a bit of a mess. Of course, we “creative” types like to have things strewn around the room and sometimes it gets a bit out of hand! Continue reading

What can I do with a smelly customer?

I’m going to address a more sensitive matter this week: have you ever wanted to tell someone about their personal hygiene problem?  But then you felt you just couldn’t find a way to do it?  Me too – and it stinks…

I have a ‘client’ who visits my house on a weekly basis.  It would be wrong to identify this person online, so I’m keeping quiet about whether they are child or adult, pupil or parent, male or female and whether they come for a lesson in piano, keyboard, ‘cello, Maths or English.

But…there’s no denying it… they smell very strongly of wee. Continue reading

Magnetic musical note board makes note learning easy!

Do you teach a musical instrument?  Try this inexpensive and easy-to-make magnetic learning resource to teach note names and positions to your pupils!

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Like all the best ideas, this one is pinched from someone else.  My friend Sandie (herself a piano teacher) showed me a similar magnetic board she bought some years ago with movable note heads. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one anywhere – so I decided to make one.  It’s quick and easy, and all the materials are really inexpensive.  Give it a try! Continue reading

4 vital steps to learning a keyboard piece

Looking for a sure-fire method to boost your keyboard practice? No problem! Read on…

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Along with teaching piano, I have several pupils learning to play keyboard. By ‘keyboard’ I mean electronic or ‘chord’ keyboard: the type where you play a melody in the right hand, chord shapes in the left and the keyboard takes care of the rest with drums, accompaniment parts, multiple instrument voices, extra harmonies, etc. Most of my pupils use Yamaha keyboards such as the PSR-E343 which I strongly recommend for beginners on a budget. Continue reading

6 great ways to get more music pupils!

About two and a half years ago I left behind my career as a primary school teacher and set out to carve a new business teaching piano and keyboard. Now I have over 40 regular weekly pupils. With teaching, lesson preparation, blog & video posts and the development of an online business (more soon!) I am once again in ‘full-time’ work – and more!

A few years ago my son was in a similar position, starting out as a music teacher. A wealthy businessman friend of ours gave him this advice: “Early to bed, early to rise, practice like hell and ADVERTISE!” Perhaps you’re teaching music privately like me, or perhaps you’re just thinking about it? I’m certainly no business expert or guru, but I’m pleased with my progress so far, so I’m sharing my advertising methods in case they can help you on your way… Continue reading

You want to learn to play…what? (YouTube to the rescue!)

On occasions I ask people, “What song or piece would you like to be able to play on the piano?” Whether it’s a pupil I have been teaching for a while, a brand new starter or even someone who has never had a music lesson in their life, they almost always have an answer.  Most people have apparently thought about it before!  But when it comes to helping them reach their goal, their answers can be quite challenging…

Sometimes it might be a well-known (possibly classical) piece that is far beyond their skill level. If so, I have check to see if there is a published simplified arrangement. Continue reading

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