Bryce is sleepy this morning! His lesson begins before regular classes start. But we both appreciate the new music studios at McAuley College in Beaudesert. Aircon and heating! Sorted all year 👍
A few years ago I wrote a simplified version of Für Elise for a very young student. I used the scorewriter MuseScore which is free and open-source, and uploaded my version to its online score sharing platform. Today they sent me a reminder to look at it, and I saw it had 5,759 views and … Continue reading My simple MuseScore Für Elise has 5,759 hits, 44 ♥️
I heard that my student Tom broke his wrist last week and wouldn’t be able to do lessons for the rest of the term. So imagine my surprise when he rocked up to his lesson saying, “I broke my wrist but my other arm is still alright. Can I still have my lesson?” I’m soooo … Continue reading “My other arm’s alright, can I still do my lesson?”
Sasha did her AMEB Piano For Leisure Preliminary Grade exam in November. She was so well prepared I knew she would enjoy herself. Her mum Steph said the air-conditioning was quite strong at the Ashgrove examination centre, near Brisbane. Both Sasha and Steph were feeling cold and Sasha ended up doing star jumps while she … Continue reading Congrats Sasha for your A (Honours)!
Congratulations to my student 🎶Daisy🎶 for passing her AMEB Grade 1 Piano For Leisure with an A (Honours). Time to enjoy a well deserved break and I’ll see you again in the New Year ❤️!
Last week my piano students played at the end of semester soirée at McAuley College in Beaudesert. They were excited and nervous, and quite pleased with themselves, I think! I was so happy for them. So well done Ava, Bethany, Bryce, Charlotte, Grace, Joel, Luke and Molly. You are a credit to yourselves and did … Continue reading Soirée at McAuley College!
Our usual digital piano is broken and we are using a light keyboard while it is repaired. I decided to play an ear game with Tian, who is six and in Year 1. In the video below, Tian’s finger is on Middle C. He has to keep his eyes closed, and find the notes that … Continue reading Can you find the notes with your eyes shut, Tian?
Congratulations to Luke for passing his AMEB Piano For Leisure Grade 1 examination with an A (Honours). Just like your Hot Chilli piece, you rock!
When I first arrived in Australia, watching television was an obvious way to learn about life here. I loved Landline, with all its moving stories about rural life, entrepreneurship and survival. As I become a piano teacher in the Scenic Rim, I feel very privileged to be stepping into this world, albeit in an oblique … Continue reading Teaching In The Scenic Rim
Patrick, my 8-year-old piano student, drew a picture for me. I mean, the care that has gone into it, I am so moved. Plus they’re great drawings! Thank you Patrick! <3 His mother, Laura, sent me home with a dozen eggs from her own chooks. “The little ones are from the Bantams, they make a … Continue reading Student’s drawings and eggs from his chooks, and homemade pickle
I came back to McAuley College to find sofas and carpets in the piano room! Colour my world McAuley! Thank you! 🙂
[Posting clips of my students performing lets them know I’m proud of them. Learning music – like learning most things – is a series of little steps, every step significant, and hopefully taken with a sense of pleasure and adventure.] Ellyse is playing her first duet with me! I’m very happy with her soft hands … Continue reading Ellyse (aged 6) plays her first duet with me
My student Edward recently sat his first ever exam, AMEB Piano For Leisure Preliminary Grade, and received an A (Honours) grade. Well done Edward. I have written about him before, since he was preparing for this exam on a keyboard without weighted keys and touch-sensitivity. But fortunately his parents got him a fully-weighted keyboard a month before … Continue reading Congratulations Edward! A (Honours)
A little while back I wrote about a student trying to learn to play with more expression, despite not having a touch-sensitive keyboard at home. Today he came to lesson beaming, saying he now has a fully-weighted keyboard with touch-sensitive keys. He played his examination pieces, and we looked at each other and couldn’t stop smiling. It’s … Continue reading “We’ve got a fully weighted keyboard at home now!”
Angela (aged six) has no instrument at home, but is determined to play piano. Watch her play a duet with me. Well done Angela!
Edward is taking his first AMEB exam in July. He plays his pieces well, I’m getting him to put in more expression, make the most of that crescendo, accent, and pp. He’s doing it. But his keyboard at home doesn’t have touch-sensitivity. Whether he plays gently, or with pressure, the sound doesn’t vary. “At home, … Continue reading Learning to be expressive without touch-sensitive keys
Congratulations to my student Luke for attaining High Distinction A+ for his AMEB Piano For Leisure Preliminary examination. He even managed not to groove around while playing the bluesy Sherlock Holmes. 😁
Luke is getting ready for his AMEB Piano For Leisure Preliminary Grade exam later this year. He’s almost there, just a couple of things to fix, and I might have to stop him grooving around on his seat when he plays bluesy Sherlock Holmes.
I teach piano to two sisters. Their mother brings me tea brewed in a teapot and served in a china teacup. It’s become a little tradition between us, and this has become “my” cup. Little things mean a lot.
It’s that time of year when I bring home lovely presents; yummy goodies, things to make me smell and feel luxurious, and Christmas cards with gorgeous messages written in big handwriting. However, seven year-old Nadya truly outdid herself, and I had to blog about it.
I usually teach a couple of students in this street when it is already dark. Yesterday I was there earlier. It took my breath away to turn the corner and see this, at dusk.
Congratulations to my student Fletcher, who was just awarded an A (Honours) from AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) for Grade 1 classical piano. Well done!
Here are a couple of songs I simplified for some young students. Click on them to see or download:
MuseScore suggested I upload my original MuseScore file onto their website so that other members can use it! Yay! Here it is. Für Elise arranged for pre-grade learners by joanna.funk
I just did something and am quite pleased about it so I thought I would share it. My student Sasha wants to play the first part of Für Elise at the Excellence Expo which will happen at her school in September. Sasha is a pre-Grade learner so I arranged it for her using Musescore software. … Continue reading Für Elise arranged for pre-grade learners
Nadya made my day wonderful. My five-year-old student greeted me, waving a piece of paper.
“I drew this for you! It’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!”
I haven’t really studied solfège, so I counted on my fingers quickly, whispering do, re, mi… each time. Yep it works. She got it from YouTube. This is her fifth or sixth lesson with me. Before she started, her mum said Nadya would probably concentrate for ten minutes max, so we tagged her lesson onto the end of her brother and sister’s piano lessons.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my students Jessica (7) and Sasha (5). The post was about Jessica showing me lyrics she wrote for a song. I wrote a simple duet for the girls, and used MuseScore notation software (which is free to download!) to write it up. Here’s the original post, which shows the lyrics, music score and describes where the girls are in their musical development.
Jessica and Sasha are siblings aged 7 and 5 respectively. I encourage them to make up tunes. “Don’t be scared,” I say. “It’s good to create.” So last week Jessica hits me with: “Can we make a song together?” “Sure…” “…because I wrote one! Here it is! Can you do the music?” Ha! Okay. I … Continue reading Ice Cream Man student original duet music