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Showing posts from March, 2011

How Long Does a Piano Last?

How to Buy a Piano

The "Living Pianos" blog contains a wealth of outstanding articles on piano technique, piano brands & models, how to care for an acoustic piano, and how to select the right piano for you. The "How to Buy a Piano" article is extremely informative. Highly recommended reading for anyone in the market for a new or used piano.

CM Theory Room Monitoring @ Chabot College

Every MTAC teacher who registers their students for the yearly Certificate of Merit program must submit to a minimum 1 day of work yearly. The work day is dedicated to helping run the C.M. program.  In 2008, I unknowingly signed up for one of the more drab jobs on offer: working the registration desk for the theory exams. The job was hectic and mindless; one I hope to never repeat. In 2009 & 2010 I signed up to be a theory test corrector. This job is at least stimulating in that it provides a music theory refresher (though I rarely need one at this time of year, having labored diligently in the weeks previous to prep my CM students for their theory tests). At the end of a day correcting some dozens of theory exams, most test correctors - well, at least the ones who work hard; not the lazy ones -- are seeing double and wishing to never again hear about how many sharps are in the key signature of g# minor. Having worked hard at test correcting each of the last two years, it was time f…

Had my piano tuned today...

During the winter months I always keep a space heater plugged in and turned to "Low" in my teaching studio. I was happy to learn from Linda, my regular piano technician that my piano held pitch well since it's last tuning. This is likely due to my diligent attention to regulating the temperature in the room the instrument is housed in. A number of my students have noticed in recent months a sporadic buzzing when playing an "A" in the higher range of my piano. I noticed it, too. This "sonic wart" became a regular menace to my enjoying playing the instrument. I brought this issue to Linda's attention, she worked on it, and the problem sounds fixed for now. I hope the solution sticks. Here's the regular PSA ("Piano Service Appeal") that I'll always include at the end of my piano tuning blog posts:  If you are an active pianist, student, or teacher it is essential that you tune your piano at least once yearly. This may strike some reade…

March 2011 Teaching Schedule

-- My teaching schedule during the month of March will be uninterrupted. Let's do this!
-- Certificate of Merit students have one final hurdle to overcome in 2010-11 cycle: music theory exams. The CM Theory testing will be conducted at Chabot College in Hayward on the weekend of March 12-13. Students can complete their theory test any time on either day, between the hours of 9am - 5pm. Have a happy month, Jesse

Why Music Exams?

I ask myself the same question in the subject line every year: Why music exams? I am a member of the Music Teachers Association of CA (MTAC). As a member of the MTAC, I am able to offer a yearly music evaluation program to my students called Certificate of Merit (CM). CM aims to be a comprehensive, leveled music study encompassing the essential musical elements: performance, technique, sight reading, music theory, and ear training. I have been a member of MTAC since Fall 2007. CM evaluations happen each spring, so 2011 marks my 4th year preparing students for these exams. It seems that there are always 1 or 2 of my participating students who falter come evaluation time. It's down to me to break the heavy news: "You didn't pass". While it's not my intention to break anyone's spirit or cause them to resent music study for life, these both are possible (though admittedly unlikely) outcomes. But failure is a part of life. I have failed or been rejected too many ti…