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Mizue's Blog

Drop your self-judgment to do well on ear training

Mizue Murakami

Woman listening via headphone

I've been noticing an interesting phenomenon. During the music ear training, students of any instrument (piano, guitar, string, woodwind, brass, drums, voice, etc), who are not self-conscious, not self-judgmental, and having fun learning, do a lot better during the ear training than the students who are anxious, self-judgmental, and worrying about whether if their answers are going to be correct or not. And I've realized why this is happening, during their ear-training sessions, especially with the teachers. When they are trapped with their worries, of course, their energies will focus on their...

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How about moving sharp, flat, natural to the right of the music note?

Mizue Murakami

Sharp & flat to the left & right of music note

Today's blog I'm writing may be controversial. I may get a lot of backlashes. But I'll write this blog anyway.

I've been teaching piano and music for a few decades. And I've been noticing some students (especially beginners) have a hard time reading sharped or flatted notes. When they see a flat or sharp sign, they immediately think it's a half step up or down. Yes, that's correct. But from which note? They are not even looking at the actual note they need to...

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Who Yamaha P-Series is Good For

Mizue Murakami

music keyboard store

There have been many occasions I recommended Yamaha P-Series (88 weighted key digital piano) to certain types of students or piano learners. But it's hard for students & piano learners to determine if P-Series is the best choice for them. There are so many keyboards, digital pianos, & acoustic pianos. Their costs range between $200 & $20,000. But I can't possibly talk about all types of keyboards & pianos. So, today in this blog, I'm limiting to Yamaha P-Series and let you know who should get Yamaha P-Series. (I'll discuss other keyboard instruments in...

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Typing on cellphones with 2 thumbs is like the 5-finger scales.

Mizue Murakami

typing with 2 thumbs on cellphones

I'm an older generation who types (or texts) on my smartphones with only ONE  index (pointer) finger. That's how most older people do. On the other hand, younger generations hold their smartphones with two hands and use both of their thumbs to type. You all know that. All of my young students (high schoolers, college students, & millennial-adults) do it that way. 

I had been comfortable with my old-generation way. So, I never thought about changing my style of typing. But recently, I thought, "Wait... Why not trying...

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Give opportunity to shy piano students to improvise.

Mizue Murakami

Dad & daughter improvising on piano

If you are a piano teacher, I bet you run into some shy, not so outgoing, but perfectionist students. Some of these students also may not participate in sports either. If that's the case, these piano students can get really stiff, not flexible, afraid to make mistakes, and even frustrated with themselves. 

Students who play sports have the ability to accept losses. They try different things physically and learn from their experiences. They are also accustomed to their coaches, pushing them to do some repetitions over and over whether they...

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