Cello There: The Funny Side of Music Education

Music Education has a whimsical side to it. Music teachers and student musicians get to see the funny in class and rehearsals. Cello There takes all of this and puts it in one place where we can see a new set of Music Education Funnies every weekday by Gregory Pavliv and MusicTeachingGuru.com

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I've been teaching music for over 15 years as a public school music teacher and as an owner of a private lesson studio. When I needed a piano for my music room in my first music teaching job, I put together an action plan. And it worked! Here is an excerpt from the book...

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When you need a piano for your music classroom, you can get one. And you can find one free. (More on that in my book available below). Anyway, often times when we hear the word "free" we think that it's a lie. Truth is, finding a free piano isn't like looking for a needle in a haystack. It's like looking for a haystack in a field of haystacks. There are PLENTY of free pianos out there! You just have to find the right one.

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So where is the oddest place to find the Backstreet Boys? How about in a national article on the importance of music education! The Backstreet Boys state that, “Practicing music reinforces teamwork, communication skills, self-discipline, and creativity” (Why Music?). These qualities are all highly sought out in the workplace. Creativity, for example, is, “one of the top-five skills important for success in the workforce,” according to Lichtenberg, Woock, and Wright (Arts Education Partnership 5).Participation in music enhances a student’s creativeness.

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“If you hate what you’re doing in life, it’s not worth doing,” she said. “No matter how successful it makes you, if it makes unhappy, I would say to not do it, but this makes me happy.” For Lee, piano has encompassed a huge part of her life, practicing three hours a day after school. The diligence and practice are one factor of why Lee beat out many her own age in the Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition in 2012, when she was 9. Because of her accomplishment, she was invited to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she performed Schubert’s Improptu Op. 90 No. 4.

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I am super excited to announce that my “Music Teacher’s Guide to Finding a Free Piano” will be available on November 7th on Kindle via Amazon.com! We don’t realize how many free pianos are out there just waiting to find a good home (or a good school). Pianos are typically made so incredibly well that they are virtually timeless. A single piano can be passed on for three or four generations. (And I know this from experience.)

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As parents, we want our kids to have as many opportunities to succeed as possible. Neuroscientists now know that music education offers many advantages to help craft your child’s creative brain through experiencing music every day. And while many children have music class in their school, professional piano lessons offer a unique creative-brain dialogue that empowers, inspires and develops lifelong abilities & memories.

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The average music curriculum doesn’t address cooperative learning despite the fact music education is almost entirely based on working together to learn and perform as a group. With the rise of music technology classrooms, we are seeing a lower number of peer-to-peer activities. Students are locking into their monitors and primarily working alone. So how do engage students in cooperative learning when trying to use music technology? Turn to piano lessons! In piano lessons, students must learn and practice alone, right? And they have to have the goal of performing alone, on stage, to show just how good their piano lessons were, right? Wrong!

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Imagine giving a child that one reason, that single motivation, the admirable courage to go to school each and every day. What happens to attendance Let's take a look at dropout rates. What makes a student want to give up on their education and quit? There is a disconnection from the importance of their education, as it pertains to their individual success, and they become lost in the system. What if every student could somehow feel a connection to their daily classes? If a student has difficulty in academics, and they are nonathletic, and they are not part of a popular group, how can we expect the students to fit in? Music is universal, every student listens to it and every student can participate.

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