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Oclef Daily: EP60 - Swimming without a life jacket

Try it. Swimming with a life jacket is really hard, almost impossible to get anywhere. But if you have a top lifeguard watching you and teaching you strokes, you can learn how to swim much better. Why is piano teaching any different? Reach me at julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP59 - Milestones

Pushing students to stretch in piano is a great way to help them grow. But recently, I learned about how important it is to have milestones or markers along the way. These can be obvious like recitals, tests and competitions or they can be less obvious. Like learning all your notes on flash cards, not having to have mom ask you to practice for two weeks in a row, or playing a quartet on the piano with friends. And today we're launching Oclef Classical on Apple Music. It'll be a frequently...


Oclef Daily: EP58 - Music testing exposes character

It’s all about character. The values and habits that I hope to instill in students are, to me, more important than how well they play a crescendo. But in reality, behaviors and habits are extremely tough to guide only seeing students once or twice a week. That’s why parents are so important. And as tests or recitals come, we can really see what students are made of and how they react to pressure and challenges - that’s the value of tests for me. Reach me at julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP57 - Tricks versus skills

Alert! Your child or student may not actually know what they're playing. There's a really easy way to check, but without checking it's almost impossible to notice the difference. Just ask them to start from anywhere. Pick a random spot in the music and if they aren't able to figure out the hand position, note, rhythm and start, there's an issue. Comprehension is usually the biggest problem for beginners and the smarter they are, the more they compensate and the harder it is to...


Oclef Daily: EP56 - Practicing versus playing

Every music teacher can spot it. The student who has "practiced" all week by playing their music over and over. What they don't know and their parent doesn't know is that doing that is often worse than not practicing at all. It develops bad habits and there actually isn't any growth. It's like playing a game of pick up basketball or tennis with a friend. It's fine to do, but doing it every day won't help you to improve. Educate and share this with your parents. Reach me at julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP55 - Become the music

Being vulnerable as a performer is so important and helping kids build the confidence to become the music is a huge challenge. But we gotta do it. Reach me at julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP54 - Oclef is now down under

For me, it's the two or three emails/messages I get each week from users or listeners that really means a lot. I recently received a message from one of our listeners in Australia and she convinced me to push the Oclef app to Australia. So as of yesterday, we're available to download down under. Feel free to reach out julian@oclef.com


Nahre Sol - The amazing practice video pianist and composer

I'm such a fan of Nahre. You have to check out Nahre's videos and pages if you aren't already following her online. She has amazing skills as a creative video creator, practicer, and pianist-composer. In the episode, Nahre and I go deep into a conversation on a variety of topics and if you're a piano teacher or parent, this one will be very helpful to you. You must follow this super talented and hard-working star: www.facebook.com/practicenotes Instagram: @nahresol Web:...


Oclef Daily: EP53 - Programming repertoire and learning formats

It's our diet. Music repertoire selection is potentially more important than anything in my view. Selecting the wrong piece may end a student's learning of piano if they're already at the edge. As educators, we have to really take care when selecting pieces for students. What are your strategies? More pieces with lower difficulty or just 3 pieces with high difficulty? Do you allow 2 years for them to learn or do you ask them to finish pieces monthly and weekly? Reach me at...


Oclef Daily: EP52 - Reach the emotional center

There are two brains in everyone and trying to convince the rational brain in students is not the way to go. Make sure the rational brain understands what you want to happen and then drill into the emotional brain so that students dream of greatness and are motivated to succeed.


Oclef Daily: EP51 - How do you do health?

Just talking with my wife the other day, who had a facial, I’m now learning the importance of sweating. As educators, do you supplement your day with fitness? Do you exercise to help you stay in shape for the 7, 8, 10, 12 hour teaching days in doors and sitting down? Reach me at julian@oclef.com


Adriana Linares - Wearing many hats in music

So excited to share this interview with one of the top influencers in music. Adriana wears many hats and yet she still manages to fulfill all her roles in music. Enjoy!


Oclef Daily: EP50 - The bigger concepts are leading

Tomorrow's episode is an interview with Adriana Linares who has incredible ideas on connecting. I just wanted to take today to remind you all how important the larger concepts are behind music education. For the note police and hand-position-obsessed, don't listen to this episode. The less I teach piano, the more students and parents are attracted. It's the bigger long-term lessons that count more.


Oclef Daily: EP49 - A reflection on the shooting at Stoneman

This is a personal reflection on the events that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.


Oclef Daily: EP48 - Meditation for children

Minds race. But there is an answer to calm the mind. Meditation is as real and helpful as diet or exercise (which used to also be considered unimportant). Meditation for children should be a regularly scheduled activity. The best part? It's only 10 minutes. And the results are massive. Try it for a month and just watch how your children begin to deal with stress differently. Reach out to me if you're an educator who does this, we'd love to have you on the show - julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP47 - The Magic Formula

Curiosity, patience, and persistence. That's it. Just find any student with those three qualities or variations of those, and learning will be magical. I've found that amplifying these three qualities has become the way I turn average or non-talented students into superstars. A student who is not willing to give up when solving a problem and who will be aggressively curious until they figure it out will appear talented. Recently I've just started telling parents who audition that I'm...


Oclef Daily: EP46 - Helping Teenagers Succeed

It's something I hear often and I know other educators hear this as well. "Thank you for helping my son/daughter, they are so lucky to work with you and learn from you." I do everything I can to help high school students stand out and raise their status. Help them get performances, great paying jobs, internships or run great projects. It's important. And we have to make it a priority because it matters. Let me know your stories of how you helped students - julian@oclef.com


Oclef Daily: EP45 - Build a tribe and shape perspectives

Over the last 3 years, I've been obsessed with the development of a group piano class I've designed. What I'm seeking in each class are three things: 1. Building a tribe - Creating the right culture that encourages everyone to sync to one another, learn openly and support each other 2. Parent education - Although intuitive, some parents habits in the practice sessions could shut down a child and my job is to always enhance their abilities to make practice time productive. 3. Joy - I...


Lisa Bastien - Continuing and innovating the Bastien Methodology

Several months ago we had Lori Bastien on the show and now I'm so excited to have Lisa on the show. I'm actually in New York for this one and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit her flat where she teaches and composes. The Bastien family is legendary in the music education space, but these days Lisa, Lori and Jane are coming out with an app and launching new books. The methodology is available on Amazon. Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2GYbw9X


Oclef Daily: EP44 - Mr. Julian said...

We all have a few of them. Stubborn kids. I was one of them! The trouble is for those who practice, their parents are trained to help and disciplined about practice - the very last step is collaboration. Sometimes it doesn't happen because the student thinks they know more than their parent. And they probably do on most things, but not so often on practice strategies. Anyway, I think I've solved this issue with the following phrase, "Mr. Julian said..." Try it and let me know. Email me...


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