Timer or stopwatch?

Published: Feb 4, 2019  |   Category: Home Practice

Band director Eric Rath proposes using a stopwatch rather than a timer for piano practice. His two children are practicing piano more effectively since he started using a stopwatch to track practice time! He explains, "A timer suggests that our singular goal is to complete the time we've been assigned. A stopwatch suggests that the goal is to accomplish our tasks with quality." The child works on practice goals during the practice session, and the elapsed time shown on the stopwatc.....Read More

Apps for Success!

Published: Sep 6, 2018  |   Category: Home Practice

Using the interactive technology provided by the publisher of your child's book series can support and enhance practice time at home! Both Faber Piano Adventures (Hal Leonard) and Bastien New Traditions (Kjos Music Company) have apps which you may easily download to use on your devices at home! If your student uses the Faber series, search for the Piano Adventures Player App for iPhone or iPad or use this link: pianoadventures.com/player. For students using the Bastien All-in-One piano cours.....Read More

Practice Makes Progress

Published: Feb 22, 2018  |   Category: Home Practice

I have a new sign in the music room which states, "Practice Makes Progress." So true! Here are some tips for at-home practice. Don't practice when the child is tired, upset, or hungry. DO practice when the child is in a good mood, ready to learn, and free from distractions. Treat piano practice as a happy activity, not a chore! Incorporate a few minutes of piano time into the daily schedule. On weekends, practice in the mornings or earlier in the day (rather than evenings). Take br.....Read More

Savor Summer!

Published: Jul 9, 2017  |   Category: Summer Lessons

Ah, summer! Summer brings warmer weather, longer days, and favorite seasonal activities. We welcome a change of pace during this period of time which is, actually, pretty short! Summer piano lessons allow for many opportunities in growth for students. There is no break in progress--students don't need to "catch up" in August or September. They gain progress through the summer months and go deeper into concepts; they might learn special music or work towards specific goals, such as .....Read More

Take a "Brain Break" on Black Keys

Published: Feb 10, 2017  |   Category: Home Practice

In the field of education, classroom teachers often utilize "brain breaks" to help students regain focus after a period of learning. This idea can also help piano students during their daily practice! A child may benefit from an opportunity to "reset" in order to concentrate for the remainder of his/her practice time. Today's tip involves playing the black keys on the piano for a two-minute brain break, which stems from the fact t.....Read More

Recital Hall Location Announced

Published: Oct 17, 2016  |   Category: Recital Etiquette

Each year, Veenstra Keyboard Studio will hold a fall recital and a spring recital. Since we are still establishing our business and acquiring new students at this time, our first recital will be held in April of next year. I'm happy to announce that our recital location will be at Yamaha Piano Distributors in Chesterfield. The beautiful 100-seat recital hall is located near the intersection of Highway 40 and Olive. More details will be posted as we come closer to the event! .....Read More

Happy Fall!

Published: Sep 22, 2016  |   Category: Home Practice

In your child's folder, there is a special handout called Three Strategies for Effective Piano Practice. Please read this with your student! In essence, the three strategies are: regular routines, "friendly" practice environments, and practice helpers. Please ask me if you have any questions about these! Thank you for supporting your child at home!.....Read More