Month: March 2015

Tiger Mothers, Unite!

Tiger Mothers, Helicopter Dads, French Parenting, Free-Rangers… We’ve managed to create some fancy labels for styles of parenting. As soon as the kids hit the front door in the afternoon,

Motivation: Parenting and Practicing

Motivation As parents, we want to support our kids. We know that playing a musical instrument is good for them, but the issue of practice can be thorny. I’ve seen this

Practice Builds Better Brains

Music instruction is better for children’s brains than “sports, theater or dance.”  Save the link to this article and read again after a big fight with your kid about practicing.

Practice Hacks: The Pencil Problem

The pencil monster struck again. I was listening to my 8 year-old daughter while she was practicing. She was playing the flute in her room and I stepped in to

Miss It? Mark It! Part 3 (pencil marks)

Adding pencil marks to music are effective in helping learn new material. But exactly what parts should be marked and what symbols are helpful? If a mistake happens consistently, try to

Miss It? Mark It! Part 2 (How to mark music)

Do you know how to mark music? This post is the second in a series about how to mark music to aid practicing. Teachers may say “Mark it,” but don’t offer specifics. Here’s

Parenting and Practicing

It’s clear I’m not the only parent thinking about how to motivate my kids to practice. Check out this article by Anthony Mazzocchi: There are a lot of solid


I have this sign on my music stand. It makes me smile. My students read it in Yoda’s voice and we laugh. I know that “perfect practice makes perfect performance,”