Posted in Encouragement, Music Motivation, Performing, Practicing

5 Tips to Master the Piano

There are plenty of things necessary to master the piano, but here’s my 5 tips to master the piano.


  1. Learn how to practice correctly. What? Well, as I tell students, practice isn’t just “playing through” the song 5 or 10 times. Practice is figuring out where the trouble spots are and working them out so that you learn the correct notes, rhythms, articulations and dynamics from beginning to end with confidence!
  2. Practice, practice, practice! When parents ask me how long their child should practice, I tell them 24 hours a day. Obviously, that’s unrealistic, but the more time invested in practice will make for growth and better musicianship. 15-30 minutes on a consistent, daily schedule is going to lead to more musical growth than 5-10 minutes sporadically throughout the week.
  3. Expose yourself to as much piano music (and music) as you possibly can! One of the things that helped foster and build my love of music was being surrounded by it. The more you can be exposed to piano music, classical music, or any kind of music not only for passive listening, but active listening, helps you immensely.
  4. Take as many performance opportunities as you can. Whether that is playing at a nursing home, playing for family, whatever the case is, the more you can get experience in performing, that brings about more confidence. Yes, you’ll mess up and make mistakes, but having those experiences of performing, having it bomb, and learning from it brings about humility, a focus on working more, and more growth as a performer!
  5. Final point: Have fun! Music is work, no doubt. But it’s also creative, beautiful and artistic. If you’re so focused on the work aspect of music, you will tire of it quickly and want to give up. When it’s fun, you want to keep going and you enjoy what you do.


So what did I miss? What do you think are other tips to help master the piano? Comment with your thoughts.

Posted in Music Motivation, Music stories

With Scissors?

One of the biggest joys I get out of teaching is never knowing what students will say at their lessons. In introducing the concept of a dotted quarter note to eighth note rhythm, I explain to this wonderful student that when we get to eighth notes, we cut them in half. And so the conversation went like this:

Me: “How in the world do you cut a quarter note in half?”

Student: “With scissors?”


Not exactly, but a wonderful answer! I’ve had so many unique and creative answers to questions that I ask when I teach, and it always keeps me on my toes. And that’s one of the things as a musician that I’ve learned to do. Ask questions. I’m not the end-all, be-all source of knowledge on music. I’m still learning, just as my students are. But I’ve found that when you ask questions, you learn some very creative and unique answers. And definitely a lot more fun than just me droning on and on to her about the dotted quarter note!


If you’re looking for in person or online lessons, check out more information here.

Posted in Music literacy, Music Motivation, Practicing, Science of Music

Why Should Children Take Music Lessons?

There are lots and lots of benefits as to why children should take music lessons. Here are just a few.

Music builds coordination

When it comes to piano, or really any musical instrument, it’s building hand-eye coordination, using the dominant and non-dominant hand, and in the case of the piano, can have different motions for each hand at the same time!


Music strengthens academic skills

There are many things that can be strengthened when it comes to musicianship, be it math, or language, especially when it comes to learning about phrasing and shaping the phrase, music helps to strengthen skills that students need in the classroom.


Music makes students more empathetic

Learning how to be a musician takes the student from making robotic music, to interpreting the music in their own way, making certain parts louder or softer than others, as well as bringing out the overall ethos of the music.


Music build discipline and patience

Learning how to practice and the discipline of regular, daily practice helps to build a positive habit that can translate to other aspects of life, as well as helping students be patient and persistent in practicing.



These and many more things help students grow and build skills that benefit as musicians and in life. Harmanny Music Education can help! Summer lessons for June and July are currently being scheduled and you can find out more and more about the ukulele camp to be held the week of June 27th here.

Posted in Music Motivation

Music is the great uniter

Sarah Dessen is an American author who lives in North Carolina. This quote is extremely powerful and true! Music brings about unity. Not only for those performing, whether that is in an ensemble, or a soloist being accompanied, the musicians have to be united on tempo (speed of the music) and much more to make music together.

But the unity goes even farther than music making. It can unite people together. I remember on the evening of September 11th, 2001, the entire United States Congress united together to sing “God Bless America”. Or more recently, how we have seen people responding to and singers choosing to learn and sing the Ukrainian national anthem. These are moments that aren’t united by age, ideals, gender or anything else except music. And music expresses that emotion that we cannot speak or convey with just words alone.

An even simpler idea would be to go to a concert. You have people from all walks of life, all ages, all incomes, gathered together for one purpose. The joy of hearing and participating in through listening or singing along to music being made. That is uniting and powerful. That’s what music does!

Harmanny Music Education is now scheduling summer lessons and a ukulele camp as well! For more information, click here!