News

My Frightful Favourites

My Frightful Favourites

Halloween is fast-approaching, and whether your students love it or not, there is lots of fun, spooky music out there! 

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My Obsession with Arranging (including a list of arrangements!)

Arranging Composing

My Obsession with Arranging (including a list of arrangements!)

When I hear a piece on the radio I am more often than not struck with inspiration. The music can give me ideas on styles, harmonies, themes and much more, but when I hear something that would make a good arrangement, I am obsessed with the project until completion. There is just something about the challenge of writing a good arrangement for piano that I love. There are many factors that go into this labour of love: deciding on the format (solo, duet etc), the level for which to arrange, what key to write in, and more. Most times I try to keep the...

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Becoming an Improv Star

Composing Improv

Becoming an Improv Star

I used to be afraid of improvisation. And what was worse, people thought that because I could play the piano, I could play anything. I got asked to play jazz, pop, funk, alternative, industrial and more on a regular basis. If I had the music in front of me, great- I’m a sight-reading machine. I have a decent ear too, so I could listen to something and figure it out right away. But improvise something...no!!! I’m classical trained. And the “old style” of conservatory-based learning placed little importance on learning musicianship skills, and included absolutely zero improvisation. Therefore, I was defenceless. It...

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It's That Time of Year Again...

It's That Time of Year Again...

The local music festival has been a part of life for (shockingly?) over thirty years. I competed fiercely in this festival until the year I left for University. And now- being an area teacher- my own students enter this same festival each year.Mind you, I do feel like the competitive factor has dropped dramatically. But I’m quite sure my students don’t mind. They have a positive experience every time, gaining confidence in performing while receiving valuable feedback from the adjudicator. They come away with lovely certificates feeling proud and accomplished. Check ✅I still have vivid memories of the more competitive...

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Why I Love Duets

Composing Duets

Why I Love Duets

You've read articles before on why playing duets is important to the well-rounded musician. So many skills are developed when playing ensembles: listening, breathing, counting/rhythm and more. To me this natural development is a bonus in addition to the main purpose of playing with another person: to have FUN! I love the challenge of composing a compelling duet with a theme; I often use imagery in the title, description and cover of each piece to help students realize the mood or energy it requires (along with other musical aspects). I encourage them to convey the spirit of that piece, or maybe tell a...

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