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One Point Lessons

Happy fall, everyone! The weather's been getting cooler, and the leaves are starting to change. These mountains really start to seem like paradise right around the time school starts.

Speaking of back-to-school time, a bit of housekeeping: we are running a special for all new piano students who mention this blog or our Facebook page when signing up for piano lessons. Mention one or the other and receive your first 2 piano lessons completely FREE! This special runs until Oct. 1, so tell your friends and classmates.

piano keys with sheet music overlay

As a piano teacher, I'm always looking for new information, new ideas, and new music to enrich lessons and my own practice sessions. One journal I always look forward to getting in the mail is my American Suzuki Journal. There are always great tips and helpful reminders in there.

This month's journal had an article called "One Thing At A Time, Please" which I found especially helpful, not just for piano but for life in general! You can probably guess from the title what the article was about, but I had a few takeaways that I wanted to share.

The Suzuki Method often focuses on "one point" lessons, where the majority of a lesson is spent on learning a single technique and practicing a piece with that technique in mind in order to gain full mastery. This is for several reasons, one of which is that it helps students avoid the frustration of trying to do too many new things at once. Additionally, this approach works whether you're learning Suzuki piano, guitar, violin or any instrument (or any skill, really).

I bet we can all think back to a time when we felt as though we had to master many skills at once. Maybe it was when we tried to learn the guitar, and putting both chords and strumming patterns together seemed impossible. Maybe it was when we started a new job, and felt like we had a thousand new responsibilities, all of which were new, and none of which were comfortable.

I try to remember - and always am working on this! - that more can be gained from mastering one simple thing at a time than can be gained from expecting too much too soon. When students get frustrated, don't be afraid to simplify the assignment. Break it down into smaller, more achievable chunks. This makes learning a new skill far easier!

Since it's autumn, and we're all so busy with our new schedules and routines, there is no better time to think about how we can focus and grow mindfully, one step and one skill at a time. Until next time, happy practicing!

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