2017 MTNA National Conference — A Guitar Teacher’s Welcome To A Piano Teacher’s World

I heard that one at least a hundred times last week while attending the Music Teacher’s National Association’s national conference in Baltimore. I was one of maybe… two or three guitar teachers at…
READ MORE

5 Surefire Ways to Ease Your Students’ StageFright

Have you witnessed the look of fear on the face of a student who has just realized that they’ll have to perform in front of an audience? One very important aspect of our work as music instructors is…
READ MORE

8 Outstanding Ways to Use Playlists with Your Business

Whether we’re talking about SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube — audio or visual — playlists are my secret weapon in my business. I use them ALL the time. Here are my top methods grouped into…
READ MORE

A Letter to a Young Musician…

I recently offered a few words of encouragement to a young musician. What do you tell a young, talented artist that dreams of a career in the arts? I had a great time jamming out with you last…
READ MORE

A Simple Exercise to Help You Teach Well in the New Year. Revisit Your Soundtrack.

My soundtrack starts with Billy Joel’s Glass Houses. If I hear any track from that record, I am transported underneath my parent’s kitchen table, listening to the new Walkman I got for Christmas…
READ MORE

A Thankful Music Teacher

About five years ago, I was home in Virginia visiting friends and family for the holidays. A family reunion was underway when I got a phone call from my roommate. Our water line had frozen and burst…
READ MORE

Creating Your Sacred Space — Jordan Corbin

Nothing is as deflating as the dreaded knock-knock-knock on the wall, just as you are getting into your aria. You need to practice, but where? Finding the right rehearsal space is a necessary part of…
READ MORE

Do Your Students Need to Do Exams?

The pros and cons of music exams are, I should hope, fairly obvious. They offer a ready-made syllabus, a target for students to aim for, and more often that not a great sense of achievement once…
READ MORE

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Setting Up As A Private Instructor

Throughout my freelance teaching career, I’ve stumbled upon some best (and worst) practices for my studio. Here’s the advice I wish I had received when first starting out. I know many new teachers…
READ MORE

How a Growth Mindset Will Grow Your Teaching Business

If you make your living as an independent teacher, coach, or tutor you MUST develop a Growth Mindset. It’s a massively important step to build a thriving business. The concept of a mindset was coined…
READ MORE

How To Bring Creativity To Your Private Music Lessons

by Steve Treseler. Even if you have little experience with improvisation and composition yourself, you can make a big impact on your students by helping them get off the page and create their own…
READ MORE

How To Completely Change Your Music Theory Lessons

Many times, I have heard responses like: “Yes, but I didn’t like it.” Or: “It was so hard.” “My teacher was mean.” “I just wanted to play a song and it was so boring.” For hundreds of years, music…
READ MORE

How To Find The Right Balance Between Fun And Strict Teaching Methods

We all want to be the fun teacher. However, it’s easy to get off track trying to fulfil that persona. We can forget to adequately teach the fundamentals such as the rudiments of music — and our…
READ MORE

How to Nurture a Love For Daily Practice

After teaching music lessons to both adults and kids for more than a decade, I know a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work to perfect your students’ practice regime. One thing to…
READ MORE

How to Unlock Your Music Career While Teaching Private Lessons

The path to education is different for every teacher. Whether you rely primarily on teaching to provide a stable income or want to supplement your performance or writing career with teaching…
READ MORE

How To Use Spotify To Be More Than Just A Music Teacher

If you’re a music teacher, you’re probably not thinking about your super powers. “I’m just a music teacher,” you say. You are a cultural ambassador — opening doors to an entirely new world. You are…
READ MORE

I’m Giving Away My Guitar Method

I’ve decided to give away The Blackforrest Guitar Companion as an ebook at no cost. I’ll also support the book with video lessons outlining all of the information in the book. I’m doing this because…
READ MORE

Listen — The World Wants To Teach You How To Succeed

Near the middle of my sophomore year at University of Miami, I approached one of my professors with a question during a rehearsal : “How do you learn songs by ear?” I wish all of my problems could be…
READ MORE

Listening to New Music: How To Boost the Vitality of Your Business

As a music instructor, I’m always looking for ways to capture and keep the interest of students. While some students choose Beethoven over Beck or Liszt over the Lumineers, many others enjoy playing…
READ MORE

Natural Born Singers? How to Assess Your Students From the First Consultation

No matter the age group you specialize in, whether you work with emerging and developing professionals, seasoned professionals or even absolute beginners, that initial consultation is valuable to…
READ MORE

Perform, Listen, and Play With Others. Music Lessons Outside of the Practice Studio

One of my favorite responsibilities of running David’s Music House is guiding our teachers/mentors to teach more than how to just play an instrument. So much of becoming a true musician is often…
READ MORE

Planning for the “Unplanned”: How Improvisation Will Benefit Your Business

Wikipedia defines musical improvisation as: “the creative activity of immediate (‘in the moment’) musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental…
READ MORE

How Real Life Experiences Build Real World Skills

I’m sure there are a host of reasons that might accurately explain the phenomenon of the “millennial side hustle”. As a millennial, I was raised, like most millennials, without the irritating notion…
READ MORE

Should You Take The Plunge And Switch To Private Teaching?

I recently jumped into the ocean with more than 15 sharks and stingrays swimming around our boat. Actually, I did it twice in one week. But my past life is filled with too much overthinking. So, I…
READ MORE

Songs on a Mission : A Seattle-based Teacher Brings Music Lessons to Latin America

by Scout MacKay. There was a rusty Toyota Escort waiting for me across the footbridge from the little hostel on the beach. “Usted es el amigo de Christina? Are you Christina’s friend?” I asked the…
READ MORE

Teaching the Bigger Picture- Bach & Hendrix.

“The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.” JS Bach Can you hear the similarities in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach…
READ MORE

The Income Quilt: Making a Living as a Teaching Artist

My wife is an actor and I am a musician. We’ve been supporting ourselves through these endeavors for the last 20 years or so. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has definitely been worthwhile. We…
READ MORE

The Memorization Challenge: One Month, Three Songs

Are you looking to prepare students for an upcoming recital, or just want to encourage them to take a step beyond learning some songs? The “Memorization Challenge” can help! This is a fun, month-long…
READ MORE

The Power of Nostalgia — Relating To A Student’s Musical Inspirations With Our Own

We all know the feeling. Whenever “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray comes on at the grocery store, we are filled with nostalgia and transported to the back seat of our mom’s car with our best friend from…
READ MORE

The Truth About Tone Deafness

by George Bevan. Tone deafness (cognitive amusia) is rare. The much-quoted figure is that 4% of the population are affected, but I have spent the past six years working with literally hundreds of…
READ MORE

What Do You Do With The Child Who Can’t Sing?

by George Bevan. I am passionate about singing, and it always intrigues me when I find someone who tells me that they can’t sing. When I enquire further, the story is almost invariably the same: they…
READ MORE

What To Do When a Student Wants to Quit

Miah collapsed on the floor in a pile of tears and frustration. “I do not want to have a music lesson, I do not want to practice, and I do not want to play guitar!” As a second grader who is a year…
READ MORE

Why Do Students Resist The Method Book Work?

Learning an instrument is a very difficult thing to do, regardless of what age you start. A method book helps bring order and puts a plan together for a student’s music lesson. However, some students…
READ MORE
Subscribe!