When It's Not Fun Anymore - Conscientious and Conscious Learning

Amy Turner

For weeks your piano lesson book has been covered in "A+" and "Great Work!" and "You Did It!" stickers, marking your steady and - let's be honest - relatively easy progress. The practicing you've been doing at home has been fruitful, resulting in your teacher's approval and your personal sense of pride, as expected. Each week your brain accepts new information with comfort, filing the newness away in a mental rolodex filled with other musical themes, language, and technique. Your brain flips through, finds the appropriate information quickly, and voila! "A+!" "Keep It Up!" "You're Great!" 

What do you do when you don't get that sticker; when your teacher says, "Let's work on this one more week..."? Is this a criticism? Is she/he mad at you? Is this the day you give up?

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Music and Motivation

Amy Turner

Last week, a healthy crop of newbies entered my studio space. There was mild chaos as a wagging Black Lab greeted wiggling 4- and 5-year-olds and adults (not wiggling) alike. Each student settled after a few minutes of exploration to learn and to be guided toward musicianship. The road ahead for each student is undoubtedly long. It is. But I snicker to myself as I think about the unspoken competition some of my *ahem* more mature adult students have already exhibited, making their long road much more exciting for themselves and for me as a teacher.

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Do I Have to Practice? New School Year Resolutions

Amy Turner

It's that time of year. The summer is winding down to a hot blah, the crisper mornings inspire us to take on something new, the young and not-so-young are donning backpacks and taking new classes. So why not take a dance class, do Goat Yoga (Google it), or learn to play an instrument, right? "If I take piano, do I have to practice?" Yes. The answer is and will always be yes. But my practice rules may surprise you!

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