From the Teacher’s Bench

Kiddo and Caregiver Winter Session

Music Works Iowa is excited to offer a new Kiddo and Caregiver music experience.  Newborns through preschool-aged students will begin their musical journey with the support of a trusted adult, led by certified, experienced music educator (and toddler mom) Kelsey Legore.  Each week we will explore the rich world of music using our voices, instruments,…

How Much Should I Practice?

When students are first beginning, the number one asked question after “What kind of instrument should I buy?” is “How much should I practice?” You’ve heard it: Practice makes perfect. Practice makes progress. Perfect practice makes progress. Progressive practice makes practice perfection. Peter Piper picked a peck of practice perfection progression. Last winter we held…

Music Works Iowa to offer Kiddo and Caregiver Class

Music Works Iowa is excited to offer a new Kiddo and Caregiver music experience.  Newborns through preschool-aged students will begin their musical journey with the support of a trusted adult, led by certified, experienced music educator (and toddler mom) Kelsey Legore. Each week we will explore the rich world of music using our voices, instruments, books,…

Meet Kelsey Legore

Music Works Iowa is trilled to announce a new face around the studio. Kelsey Legore joins Music Works Iowa this summer as additional piano instructor, though her years as a choral conductor and classroom teacher will bring many opportunities for collaboration and partnering with our other studios. Best of all, Kelsey is a fun person…

Meet Nicole Philbrick

We are thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership between Music Works Iowa and JA Clair School of Music. Beginning in the fall 2022, Music Works Iowa will partner with JA Clair School of Music to offer individual and group Irish fiddle lessons in Mount Vernon. Nicole Philbrick, owner of JA Clair School, already has…

Summer lessons?

At long last, school is out for summer! No more pencils! No more books! No more teacher’s dirty looks So why should we continue with summer lessons? Stop brain drain in its tracks. Music reading is a skill and the first thing to go when we pause lessons is…er…music reading. Students come back to lessons…

On-Demand vs 24 hour Access

Since Netflix came into popularity as a streaming service, businesses have wrestled with the Cable vs Netflix model. Should you offer 24 hour access (subscription) or should you offer on-demand services? But let’s go back one step further: Originally it was Cable vs. Blockbuster. Back another step: Originally it was Cable vs. Antenna. And back…

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So what do virtual lessons look like?

Prior to March 2020, I had taught exactly 3 virtual lessons. I (falsely) was under the impression that virtual lessons were inferior to in-person lessons. And then Covid. And lock-down. And stay-at-home. Suddenly virtual lessons seemed like a very good option. Having had 23 months to perfect the process, virtual lessons look like this: I…

Piano or Keyboard?

Probably the first two questions when a new student begins lessons are “Do I have to have a piano ?” (spoiler: YES!) and “Should I get a piano or keyboard?” (spoiler: It’s complicated!) PIANOS Pianos come in 3 varieties — spinet, upright, or grand. There are all kinds of variations on this — baby grand,…

MWI to offer Introductory Voice Classes!

Introductory Vocal Classes The Introductory Vocal Class is for young singers who love to sing. Classes are a wonderful introduction to vocal music. The classes are small (5 students max) and include singing and movement and most importantly – FUN. Each week we explore the voice and discover musical concepts in a fun, inclusive, play-based…

What do students need for virtual lessons?

Lots of students are nervous about virtual lessons because they don’t know what they will need to do to set them up. If you’re in that boat, this post is for you! In short, you will need a piano/keyboard, a computer/tablet/phone, and internet access. That’s it! Easy Peasy! All of the info below is optimization…

So what do in-person lessons look like?

With all the hub-bubloo about virtual lessons, people may wonder, “What do in-person lessons look like?” Surely they look like a little old grandmother, down the street, that gives out cookies at every lesson. Maybe they look like the mean music teacher that whacks your hand with a ruler when you drop out of proper…

What to look for in a PIANO

So you’re in the market for a piano to start piano lessons or to upgrade from your existing piano or keyboard? Here’s some buying tips for purchasing a piano. Piano or keyboard? See this previous post. TYPES of PIANOS Broadly speaking, pianos come in three forms: spinet, upright, or grand pianos. See the differences here.…

FAQs

Do I have to practice? YES!  Consistent practice yields consistent growth as a musician!  It is better to practice for 30 minutes every day than for 4 hours the night before your lesson.  Remember, you are developing a mental process and a physical process.  Just like an athlete, you have to train every day! If you…

What to look for in a keyboard

You’ve decided to invest in a keyboard for you or your student?!? Congratulations! Now what? I’m approaching this conversation as if you are looking for the keyboard to be your primary instrument and that you do not already own a different instrument. If you own a piano, and the keyboard is a second instrument, then…

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Fonts and family

I have an app on my phone called “What the font.” When I see a font that I enjoy or have a question about, it lets me scan the font and returns with the likely font name. I’ve had some real font love affairs. 8 years ago it was Raleway. Lately it’s Montserrat and Lora.…

Gear

People love to talk about gear. I get it. I can spend hours listening to YouTube videos comparing electric piano sounds between brands. Gear is fun! Here is the gear and music that I recommend. Updated June 2021. Pianos This topic will be its own post. I can can go on (and on and on….)…