Encouraging students to hope and encouraging students to struggle for what they hope for.

I’ve recently listened to a video of Brene Brown speaking at the “Up Experience 2011”. The catch phrase she used repeatedly was “hope is a function of struggle”. People who have high levels of hope set goals, they set pathways on how they can acheive these goals and they believe they can do it. Interestingly, these people who have the highest levels of hope also have the most experiences of failure. She thens talks about the experience of a swimming coach who used the thumbs down sign until, after many goes, the child could do it, and got the thumbs up! “This moment” she said, “is a gift”! (Watch the video from 8:30)

What do you think if a school, or music studio, had the slogan that “You can’t give your child everything”? Would parents be attracted to that?


Technology and piano teaching

Using technology seems to be a huge part of our society and using it in teaching piano and music seems to be becoming more and more important. I do use You Tube as a teaching tool to demonstrate how different artists interpret music. Access to this is invaluable. If I didn’t have this I would be none the wiser as to how these unfamiliar pieces sound. I spend quite a lot of time searching the internet to find suitable pieces for my students and You Tube helps me out a great deal. If you want to read about how other teachers use technology look at this from Tim Topham’s website:


Go to the “technology” tab. Tim is a well-respected teacher, presenter, performer and accompanist based in┬áMelbourne. I was privileged to hear him speak at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference held in Toowoomba Qld last year. I am beginning to learn more teaching strategies and ideas by reading his blog. Incidently he was one of the first teachers to champion the “40 Piece Challenge”.