How Open-Minded Are You as a Music Teacher?

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” -Frank Zappa How open-minded are you? It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t say they’re open-minded.  But in reality, it seems very few teachers are. Look at the glacial pace of change in education across the world.  Every other field is…

My interview about the Musicolor Method on Tim Topham’s podcast

I was recently interviewed on the influential Creative Piano Teacher podcast with Tim Topham. Tim’s a wonderful educator who has a very active blog, podcast, and a membership site. If you’re a teacher and never heard of him, you’re in for a treat. In the interview, I discuss How and why I decided to create a method book How color…

How to activate creativity, innovation and invention?

“What do you think?” When was the last time someone asked you this?  And if you answered, did you just regurgitate what you heard some other expert say about this topic? When was the last time you asked your children or your students this question? There’s a problem in that the school system of today…

What Happens When You Ask A Preschooler If They Can Do Anything

Ask a preschooler and see what happens. Imagine this scenario. You walk into a preschool classroom of three year olds and pose a series of questions to the children: “Who here knows how to dance?” Every hand shoots up. “Who here knows how to sing?” Again, every hand is in the air. “Who here knows…

This is a simple tool to transform your teaching

“Yo homes, It’s gotta be the algorithm!” I don’t think anyone ever said that.   But, I do know Spike Lee’s character Mars Blackmon said something similar about shoes. Spike Lee’s fictional character Mars Blackmon from his film She’s Gotta Have It. We have seen an explosion in the use of this word, mostly related…

This is what I learned at NY EDTech, and it was great

This week my wife and I went to the NY EDTech 2017 conference held at my alma mater NYU.   Below are some of my notes from the opening morning show. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, EDTech has been  a booming billion dollar industry for about a decade now.  I’m happy…

Mysterious Hidden Cues Lurking in Your Students

Social creatures, us humans. But if you think words are enough, think again – body language and silence often tell you much more about a person. So, what does this mean for us teachers? Well, if you can’t read the nonverbal signs, it makes it very hard to help the student. If you can’t help…

Can we redesign music education?

What if we could redesign music education? A designer’s goal is to make experiences simple, intuitive and accessible.  It’s all about creating an effective user experience. In many first lessons, teachers start with a symbolic language of staff, treble clef, whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, etc.  The sheer amount of information is so great…

How to Encourage Focus in Yourself and Your Students

How To Be A Better Music Teacher, (Part 1 of 3) “Focus!  Focus!  Focus!” Have you ever heard that?  Perhaps from a teacher?   Maybe you’ve said it yourself. Maybe you’ve even said it this week. We music teachers are all about focus.  It takes focus to teach, to practice, and to play an instrument.  We…