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  Melissa Harris Piano Studio, Cape Cod - Center for Adult & Senior Music Education
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No apologies, please.
HOW you practice matters more than IF you practice!
Adult Student Practice Tip #2: In the Beginning, there was Rhythm.
Adult Student Practice Tips: #1 - Practice Plans
New Year's Intentions

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Sight Read

HOW you practice matters more than IF you practice!

You know the saying, you are what you eat?  Well, as you practice so you'll play....

What is your purpose?

1.  Are you working out a passage in a new piece of music?  Analyze things BEFORE touching the piano!  Know what you are about to hear before you play. Know what you are aiming to accomplish.  

2  .  Are you practicing familiar music to maintain your current repertoire?  If practice involves repetitions, prepare mentally before each mindful execution.

Adult Student Practice Tip #2: In the Beginning, there was Rhythm.


Students -- adults and kids -- tend to focus on playing the correct keys when starting lessons, generally paying far less attention to the time values of the notes.  It should be the other way around!  Developing a good sense of timing and the ability to read rhythm patterns --along with developing healthy fingering habits and learning to read notes “intervallically” --is the real key to success.

Let’s talk about how you might go about learning to read rhythm patterns early on.

1.   Use Technology:  If you have an iPad, I highly suggest an app such as ReadRhythm or RhythmLab.

You'll Never Be Lonely If You Have Music In Your Life

You’ll Never Be Lonely If You Have Music in Your Life

So says Marie, 91, my most “senior” student.    

Why is music such a powerful force in life?  How is that we can feel the embrace of sound, be comforted, consoled, challenged, motivated, inspired, vitalized?  Whatever it is we’re looking for, we can find in music.    We go to our favorite albums, internet radio...  If we’re really fortunate, we go to our instrument and make music with our own two hands.

Mindfulness

“Anyone who acts without paying attention to what he is doing is wasting his life.  I’d go so far as to say life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.”  So declared legendary pianist and teacher, Nadia Boulanger.

The Buddha himself could look me in the eyes and say this, and I’d likely have to ask him to repeat himself, I’m so distractible.  I do somehow manage to pay very close attention to advice from good piano teachers, though, something I learned to do early in life.

SightReadPlusTM for iPad-- Use with Acoustic Piano: a modern solution to an age-old problem

“Ten minutes a day on sight-reading.”   Sight-reading WHAT?

When one of my students, an MIT physicist, approached me with the idea of developing educational apps that could be used with real instruments, my first hope was to find a way to solve this issue of early level sight reading.
  
mTA’s SightReadPlusTM listens to a student play a real piano or keyboard, evaluates note and timing accuracy, and offers help where needed.  Students earn gold stars and points for everything they practice!