341: Janna Williamson and Nicola Cantan on Integrated Music Teaching

341: Janna Williamson and Nicola Cantan on Integrated Music Teaching

Welcome back to another exciting episode. I just got back in town after an exhilarating trip to the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago and had a blast meeting many of the podcast listeners and some of our members, attending captivating workshops, and sharing conversations over coffee.

In today’s show, we continue the exploration of integrated music teaching. If you caught last week’s episode, you’ve heard my presentation at NCKP, offering a quick demonstration of IMT’s background. This time, we’re joined by two amazing teachers, Janna Williamson, an intermediate teaching expert, and Nicola Cantan from Vibrant Music Teaching. Janna delves into teaching intermediate students with a focus on technique, repertoire, creative skills, and functional skills. Meanwhile, Nicola enlightens us on the importance of incorporating oral work into lessons for better musical development. Stay tuned and embrace the wisdom shared by these fantastic educators.

  • Janna’s focus is on teaching intermediate repertoire, emphasizing playing beautifully and expressively while addressing technical demands.
  • Four essential areas of intermediate piano curriculum.
  • How repertoire can be integrated with creative activities and functional skills, such as composing with chord progressions or using accompaniment patterns.
  • Janna provides specific example using Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor Op. Posth.
  • Nicola discusses the importance of incorporating ear training in piano lessons to enhance students’ musical listening skills.
  • Encouraging teachers to allow students to use their own syllables or numbers if they are not comfortable with solfa.
  • Providing a supportive environment for students who are nervous about singing.
  • Experimenting with various ways of introducing new pieces and integrating ear training into their lessons.
  • Nicola reminds teachers that even small steps towards singing during ear training can yield significant progress over time.

Links Mentioned

Today’s Guests

341: Janna Williamson and Nicola Cantan on Integrated Music Teaching

Nicola Cantan

Nicola Cantan is a piano teacher, author, blogger, and creator of imaginative and engaging teaching resources. She loves getting piano students learning through laughter, and exploring the diverse world of music making through improvisation, composition and games. Nicola’s Vibrant Music Teaching membership site is helping teachers all over the world to include more games and off-bench activities in their lessons.

Janna Williamson

Janna Williamson is a highly sought-after teacher of students of all levels with two decades of professional teaching experience. She maintains a home studio in West Chicago and taught at the Wheaton Yamaha Music School from 2001-2020. She has been an MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music since 2004 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance. Janna enjoys performing solo or collaboratively and can be heard throughout the Chicago area on a regular basis.

Today’s Sponsor

Practice Space is an innovative music lesson platform, bringing fun and engagement to your students’ practice routine. The platform offers interactive features such as a leaderboard, long-term goals, and ‘practice gems’ which can be redeemed in a customized shop. Teachers enjoy the ease of assigning digital tasks and organizing multimedia files with a simple tagging feature. Also, students can share practice videos and receive timely feedback, making the learning process exciting and interactive. Practice Space — a game-changer for music education!

Thank you for tuning in!

Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

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