Why use MoodleCloud in instrumental lessons?

MoodleCloud is a free version of Moodle  (an online learning platform). It is designed for educators and targeted “towards small users of Moodle: very small schools or companies, or lone teachers with a few classes..”(Read more here). In other words, MoodleCloud is a perfect fit for music studios, like Poco Piano Studio!

MoodleCloud is a highly customisable system. You can create courses structured around anything you want for your students. You can create assignments, quizzes, upload and link students on to great resources among other things. After much fiddling around I discovered the best way to use MoodleCloud for my studio, here is a quick peek!
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A Higgledy Piggledy Christmas!

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Music by Elena Cobb. Illustrations by Nathalie Chabelnik Wood.

December 2015 marked the end of my first year running Poco Piano Studio. During the busy month I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of gifts I was recieving from students! I was extremely grateful and wondered what I could give my students in return, after all I’m not the only who deserves a gift for working hard all year! Learning piano requires a lot of hard work, dedication and a large time commitment from students which definitely earns them a reward as well (in addition to the satisfaction of being able to play piano of course!).

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20 Piece Challenge

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With term 4 coming to a close it’s time for Poco Piano Studio to launch our first ever 20 piece challenge. The challenge was inspired by the ’40 Piece Challenge’ run by The Art of Piano Pedagogy, a Facebook group consisting of over 10,000 piano teachers around the globe. Intrigued to learn more  I read  a blog post by Elissa Milne, ‘Where did the 40 Piece Challenge Begin?’. The aim of the challenge is to enrich our music studies by learning a greater quantity of work, but how does that work?

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Composing & Creating From Day One

I was browsing lesson ideas on Pinterest when I stumbled across ‘Paint Chip Improv‘ from Teach Piano Today. For a while I have been thinking of ways to get students playing and creating music from their first lesson before being introduced notation. I want the first lesson to be fun, engaging and motivate the student to want to learn more. When I read about this game I thought I’d hit the jackpot! I now use it during my first lesson with new students and it ticks every box.

Paint Chip Improv

Paint Chip Improv

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Piano Posture & Parent Participation

The weekly lesson only takes up a small amount of time that students spend at the piano, majority of the time they’re on their own practicing. This is where bad posture and practice habits form. I spend time in lessons showing students both how to practice at home and correcting their posture and usually by the next week the same posture problems are reappearing. Our minds are always so busy while we practice it can be very difficult to focus on our posture at the same time. Sometimes what is really need is a tap on the shoulder show us we’re doing something wrong, unfortunately I am only able to do this in our lessons and at home the student is largely on their own.

Lately I’ve been thinking of ways to get parents more involved in the music education of their children. Fortunately you don’t need any musical knowledge to understand what constitutes correct posture at the piano. I stumbled across this great posture infograph at Hoffman Academy that I now give to the parents of all of my piano students.It fits perfectly on a double sided A4 page and is really easy walk through at the end of the lesson!

GYtYTy-piano-posture-infographic

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