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On this show, we interview experts who help children to develop their talents. These experts can be in music, arts education, sports or an academic teacher. Basically, anyone who works regularly with children or develops programs for them. On this show, we are looking to share the strategies, secrets, and processes that these experts use every day to help kids become great.
 
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This is a great episode to share with a piano teacher friend. Push Back. It's simple, yet powerful. Don't avoid confrontation with a parent - especially if what you are pushing back on something that is in the best interest of their child. Parents want the best for their kids, but sometimes they don't realize how to think or behave - they are usual…
 
Loved doing this interview with Jon! He's just a great guy and I enjoyed getting the chance, like with most guests on the podcast, to ask deep questions. Please share this with parents of piano students and other teachers or aspiring pianist. He has great insight in many areas and I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Julian…
 
Pain relievers like aspirin can be taken if you have a headache and usually within 15 minutes the headache is gone. But what if there were a product that made that headache go away and then come back in 7 days? Whenever I have new classes start I often get the question from parents…how long does it take to learn piano? And I used to think that was …
 
Yesterday I was working with a mother and her daughter and one simple piece of teaching advice left her speechless the second she tried it. This episode dives into the "Theory Theory" by Alison Gopnik and how it explains why the "Frozen Pencil" teaching technique works so well when teaching children to read piano. The tortoise always wins, Julian…
 
Today's podcast goes into the challenging world of how we as teachers help our students navigate more than just their troubles and anxieties from learning. If you want your story or question on an upcoming episode - visit www.oclef.com/podcast and leave your story or question. The tortoise always wins, Julian…
 
In the education world, teachers sometimes can be overly focused on the results and outcomes in competitions and tests. And the question I have is - “What mindset does that produce for students in the long run?” I leave you with an idea and three questions. The Japanese word Kaizen means "change for better". How do you create experiences for your s…
 
Sample. Observe. Record. The child needs to sample a variety of activities and as their parent you need to be open and observant. Try to be as non-biased towards activities and you can. Watch them and record your observations about how they respond to these activities. Once you find the right one or two activities it comes down to you being passion…
 
Todays episode is a follow up on the concept talked about in yesterday’s interview with Irina Gorin. She talked about “educating parents”. What she really means is show parents the value of piano and why they need to be involved and committed in the right way. Today’s episode talks about a personal story on how one of my students has allowed lesson…
 
They did it! Many parents loved the experience of preparing, learning and performing with their child. My main goal is really to help them get into the learning process with their child. To become part of the piano learning environment. Regardless of the result, they will gain confidence and more trust from their kids who are learning piano. As wel…
 
This interview is a wonderful conversation with Michelle Conda of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM). She's spent the last 25 years developing CCM as one of the top schools in the world to go learn how to teach piano. She has a talent for developing adults as teachers and in today's podcast she goes into The history of how she arrived where…
 
Today I dive into the idea of how learning happens. For me, learning happens through an input that I call a "window". The window opens from the student's connection with the teacher. But parents have such a stronger bond and larger window with their children than any teacher can even imagine. So as teachers working with students, we spend time aski…
 
Have you ever considered getting your parents, of your students, to teach in the lesson? What skills do they actually need to know in order for the child to improve? With the Oclef Method we see the parent and child as a teacher and student team guided by the actual teacher. By redesigning the role of parents as a teacher, how will that impact stud…
 
Great question! The standard answer would be for you to practice lower level pieces (i.e. level 3 if you’re level 5). And do that every day for about 15 minutes. It will improve as long as you’re consistent and patient. Try Rhythm books really help if you have a deficiency in rhythmic reading and patterns. I’m the video I’ve showed you an example o…
 
I've always thought this. Weird, awkward and quirky things about people are the best things. The best. But for whatever reason, I've only recently applied it throughout my teaching and consulting. I used to work with students and use archetypes to be more efficient in my teaching. Big mistake. Nowadays, it's all about finding the weirdest thing I c…
 
This is an episode from our Oclef Method. It’s a series for parents wanting to help their children during practice. Find all the episodes for our methodology that teaches parents here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUqEmaLrf_Fs-Cvyk1HvOkA Guidance As a parent, you can help your child with this so much. Navigating a piece of piano music can be da…
 
Progress We all want it. But should it be shown to parents as a sign of things going well? I used to think so, but I've gotten to the point now where I see progress as something that reveals itself. The whole music education infrastructure points to levels and method book with numbers. And everyone means well. But progress becomes obvious when it's…
 
Discipline. It’s the most important element you’ll need to confirm or solve for before moving forward. Don’t start looking for a piano or a Method book or anything until you figure out how you plan to be consistent. If you focus on all the tools of learning music and not focus on the way you will work (i.e. accountability and daily routine), then i…
 
“Can I teach my 7 year old sister how to play piano by myself?” - Peterson Normil Yes. Be consistent - practice 6–7 days a week for 10–15 minutes a day. Doing 1 day a week for 1 hour will not work out. Focus on reading- Get her several books (piano adventures, Alfred, Hal Leonard) and have her constantly focus on building a visual vocabulary of int…
 
Honesty It’s a desirable quality. But the funny thing is how people often consider that NOT saying something because it’s not positive, is a good thing. Radical Candor is one of the biggest changes and tools to my work as an educator over the last few years. Not saying something to a parent that is the truth and is hurting their child’s chance of s…
 
Reading. My best advice for a student just starting piano, at any age (5–105) is to develop your reading ability. While you’re working on your reading here are two super helpful tips: Have a very diverse set of books to read from. Don’t stick to one book or one piece of music. Develop your ‘visual vocabulary’. Music is built from patterns and if yo…
 
We posted a survey on our Instagram and got hundreds of responses. The question was: Does a student need musical talent to succeed in learning music? The audiences answer was a yes... 57% Yes to 43% No Any great teacher will tell you that the answer to that question is obviously no. That's an easy answer. So I guess I need to do a better job educat…
 
I’ll answer in two areas: Headspace- mistakes in performance happen and they should be expected. You have got to start focusing on the characters and audience experience you reveal through the music. Music for me is a verb. It is the act of communicating stories, ideas and emotions through sound. A small blip in the screen during a movie goes unnot…
 
Welcome to Season 6! I know I've been away for the last couple months and we have so much to share with you! This season will be about how to educate parents into becoming piano coaches and to help make sure their children are actually learning at home. Check out our new Oclef Methodology on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE :) https://www.youtube.com/channel/…
 
This is part of the collection of questions that I get so often. What's your advice on buying a piano? It's a very heavy question and I'm interested in developing a series within Oclef Q&A to teach parents about what they need to know. Would you be interested in content that answers these questions for parents or yourself? 1. Should I buy an acoust…
 
This is week six of the Seven Deadly Sins of Learning Music. It's an intro to negativity. Although it's not very common, it can become a very toxic habit. I have seen negativity develop from setting goals and status based on external forces. This is a very dangerous positioning that happens by accident sometimes and goes unnoticed. Later this week,…
 
Last September I came across a campaign on Kickstarter. There was a guy selling a book called "You suck at piano". It was sort of an Anti-method book full of humor and randomness. And of course, I loved it. It's the only book I've ever found to include humor in music education. All jokes aside, Joel Pierson raised $85,000 in his first effort and on…
 
Easily one of the most common mistakes of students and parents is the topic of today's podcast - predictability. If students have the same predictable practice habits of playing their music pieces over and over from beginning to the end, recitals don't go so well. A recital performance is simply a mental "storm" and the music is a structure in the …
 
Today's question comes from Sun Xexian. He asks why can't he hear the difference between types of pianos. I love this question because in a way, it's a win for instrument makers who are behind models like Yamaha N2 and other electric pianos. Another great example is my favorite tech-piano, the Steinway Spirio. That makes it so a real player piano c…
 
This is week 4 of the Seven Deadly Sins of Learning Music. And for this week, we're discussing complacency. It's the idea that the student says, "that's good enough". I find this to be a habit that stunts the imagination and creativity as well as quality of learning. I really do everything I can to encourage curiosity. Where have you seen this in y…
 
This question comes from Ngachanyo Shimray and I just love it. It's an important topic in piano education, but almost never talked about after intermediate/advanced education. If you have a question and want to be on the show, reach me here: julian@oclef.com and visit our instagram to see all the fun that our community is having: www.instagram.com/…
 
Hey listener friends! I just wanted to say that we are taking this week off of the podcast to prepare exciting news for all of you. If you do want to engage with us please check out: www.instagram.com/oclef We have exciting partnerships to announce with music education giants who have started to work with us. Stay tuned and thank you so much for he…
 
All this week we're talking about inconsistency and how it is one of the deadly sins of learning music. Today I wanted to shift the focus to parents and how 'inconsistency' in parent behavior is a huge cause of students lack of progress. It is on teachers to educate and empower their student's parents to know that they can help. Teach them rhythm, …
 
Before today's show on the next of the Seven Deadly Sins of Learning Music we have an exciting announcement! We're launching a third podcast format called Oclef Q&A. We get so many questions each day and we want to start sharing our answers to those questions here in the podcast format. Reach us at http://bit.ly/2HW4N0M on Quora or www.instagram.co…
 
This is Episode 25 of the Oclef Interview series. On today's podcast we have El Sistema USA Board member Christine Taylor and Executive Director Katie Wyatt. Find them at https://elsistemausa.org/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/elsistemausa On Facebook: www.facebook.com/ElSistemaUSA On Instagram: www.instagram.com/elsistemausa/ Reach me at julian@…
 
It's so important for us to help students become the truest version of themselves. Every chance I get I try to help them pivot and shift into the right direction. Today I wanted to share a story about a student and how she has transformed into a quiet, but confident person and how that changed her performance in music. Reach me at julian@oclef.com …
 
Week 2 of the Seven Deadly Sins of Learning Music is about Detachment. This one is what happens when music is not music, because it's void of an emotion or idea. When students make this a habit during practice or performance it's a huge problem. The end result is unfocused practice and performance of a music-less landscape. Reach me at julian@oclef…
 
Today I wanted to share a personal story of how one student and his mother chose impatience and short-term wins in learning piano and how that turned out for them. Long story short, a student who appeared "crazy talented" no longer takes piano anymore. Go for the macro values gained from learning piano, don't let impatience and short-term wins end …
 
My current hypothesis is that impatience is a side effect which becomes a habit. As educators, we need to be very aware of how we guide, help and observe students. 1. Define the game: Set expectations 2. Teach the tools. Test the tools. 3. Observe the gaps. Reach me for questions or comments at julian@oclef.com Instagram at @oclef or #SDSLM (Seven …
 
This is part of the seven deadly sins of learning music. A new series we're running on the Oclef Podcast. If you didn't catch the season opener, go back and check it out for the backstory of how this came about. Each week I'll go through one of the things holding your students back from improving. 1. Impatience You must be patient. Impatience is on…
 
Pushing students to stretch in piano is a great way to help them grow. But recently, I learned about how important it is to have milestones or markers along the way. These can be obvious like recitals, tests and competitions or they can be less obvious. Like learning all your notes on flash cards, not having to have mom ask you to practice for two …
 
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