Category Archives for Teaching

Bring Sloppy Students Under Control by Finding the Notes

Note: This is the first post in my Six Favorite Music Teaching Techniques series.  You can download my one-page printable cheat sheet of all six techniques here.I’m sure this has happened countless times in your music lessons: You put a piece of challenging new music in front of your student, and, curious to see how […]

Continue reading

The Surprising Secret to a Flourishing Music Teaching Business

Giving my students great experiences on stage is the most important thing I do as a music teacher.  Once they tap into the magic of making honestly good music for an appreciative crowd, the crappy aspects of teaching music evaporate.You know the crappy aspects I’m talking about: Sure, they’d like to practice “Norwegian Wood,” but they’re just […]

Continue reading

How to Talk to an Upset Student

A powerful listening skill that helps you get to the heart of the matter.Ella shuffles into my studio, half-size guitar dangling in one hand, and Mattie, her doll, in the other. Just six years old, Ella is one of my youngest students. She’s usually bubbly, and last week she left excited to work on the […]

Continue reading

How to Teach a Kid Guitar and Stay Out of Rehab

Check out my Facebook Live demo of this technique.I am a masochist. Since 2003, I’ve become famous in Seattle for teaching kids aged 4-7 to play guitar. Perhaps in my retirement I’ll expand my legacy by choreographing goldfish.I never planned on specializing in teaching young kids–I’d make a terrible kindergarten teacher.  But in 2006, word got […]

Continue reading

5 Ways to Get Shy Music Students on Stage

For every student musician who craves the electricity of the stage, there are several who treat the microphone like a cattle prod. Considering how many times I’ve had my lips zapped by a poorly grounded mic, maybe they’re the wise ones.But seriously, most students would be better off if they got past their fear and […]

Continue reading

Thrill your young students with Musical Football

Check out my Facebook Live demonstration of this game here.I discovered my all-time favorite educational game for kids while flailing.  I claim to specialize in teaching kids, but I have never felt like a natural. Still, shoot enough bullets in oil country, and eventually, up from the ground comes-a bubblin’ crude.I struck it rich with […]

Continue reading