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…

A surprising way for music teachers to be the best they can be

Vacations are just to get away from myself. Music Teachers Need Vacations Too I love to travel and explore new places, but I’ve begun to notice something: each time I go away, I gain something.  It’s not just the usual rest, relaxation, and renewal.  That’s vitally important,  but it’s beyond that.  I gain some mental…

Music Instruction Expands Brains!

As an independent, private music teacher, I am always being forwarded studies and news articles about the benefits of music lessons.  It definitely feels good to be on the right side of this issue!   And it certainly validates my profession. This weekend’s Wall Street Journal has an article, A Musical Fix for U.S. Schools, which…

Teaching Strategies For Growth Mindset

What is the most important factor in a student? Many people would say it’s talent, or effort, or persistence, or luck or some combination of these. Behind all of this is something that is more important – the proper mindset. Recent research (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007) has shown that there are two different mindsets among…

Why Memorizing Music Is So Important

With all of my students, I stress the importance of memorizing their pieces, especially for performance at a recital. Here’s some of the reasons why. Repetition is the Mother of Skill How many times did Tiger Woods hit a golf ball before ever entering a competition? Apparently he was already golfing at age 2 when…