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Barbara Fast

Workshops and Other Resources

Listed here are just a few of the workshop topics offered by Barbara Fast. Contact her directly to tailor a presentation to your specific audience and given time frame. 

Why We Don't Do What Works: Practice Tips Our Brains Like but We Avoid

Research shows that various practice strategies are most effective and create the greatest improvement in performance. Our brains learn in specific ways most efficiently, but out natural tendency is to avoid them. What are the practice strategies that are most efficient for learning, why we don't like to do them, and how to help ourselves do what really works, will be expected in this workshop.

Pet the Lizard: Calming our Brain in Teaching, Performing, and Life

Biologically our brain, sometimes called the lizard brain, is hardwired to be fearful and alert. Easy to implement techniques for teachers and students to calm our brain, called “Pet the Lizard” will be shared.

The Brains' Negativity Bias: Facilitating Student Empowerment in Teaching

The brain's negative bias, remembering the negative over the positive, will be discussed related to teaching music. Practical ideas for teaching private lessons and group classes in ways that fosters student self-empowerment will be presented. 

Hardest First & Not the Same Piano Twice: Transformative Practice Tips for Group, Applied Piano

Practice strategies that go beyond simple repetition are frequently forgotten. ‘Hardest First’ and ‘Not the Same Piano Twice,’ two practice strategies easy to implement, are explored in this workshop. Practical ideas for both group piano and individual piano lessons will be shared.

Change it Up!: Interleaved and Variable Practice: What they are, Why they work

Research shows that interleaved practice is more effective than blocked practice. Research also shows that variable practice, in sports and music, is also more effective. Practical ideas for studio and group teachers implementing these little used, but powerful practice strategies, will be shared.  

The Voice!: The Value of Singing and Solfege for Beginning Pianists

Learning to read music and producing a fluent technic are frequently piano teachers biggest concerns with beginning students. Surprisingly, recent research has found that singing and solfeggi are one of the key elements in producing better sight-readers. Presenting concrete suggestions, teachers and students will gain practical suggestions for how their own voices, by means of singing and solfege, can be important and natural aids in learning to play the piano.

Musical Selfies: Recording Practice for Improved Performance

Selfies are all the rage, so why not have students take a musical selfie? Musical selfies allow students to record their practice and independently evaluate how they sound and to monitor their progress over time. 

So You Get Nervous: Let's Talk about Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety is a frequent issue for many music students. This workshop will present practical tips for ways to practice and learn music that will address anxiety in the weeks leading up to a performance. Specific suggestions for effective memorization will also be shared. 

Building Blocks to Effective Sight Reading: Surprises From the Research

While effective sight-reading provides a life-long love and ability to play the piano, it is frequently the least understood and most over-looked keyboard skill. The presentation features specific suggestions for teaching sight-reading that are based on research on eye movement and perception, and current findings in music education.  

Teaching Artistry at the Elementary and Intermediate Level

Teaching artistry at the beginning levels Is just as important as teaching any other aspect of piano performance. The technique necessary for emphasizing artistry at the earliest level will be explored in detail, along with suggestions for continuing these techniques into the intermediate levels of repertoire. 

Keep Your Cell Phone Out: Technology that Transforms Traditional Practicing and Teaching

Rather than telling your students to put their cell phones away, this webinar will present easy to use functions within phones to assist teachers in their private lesson and group classroom teaching, and to assist students in their practicing. Specific assignments, useful in both group teaching and private lessons, will be shared as well as concrete suggestions for the practice room.

Smart Practicing: Utilizing Easy Technology and Research on Learning

How to help students practice effectively are topics that come up weekly for music teachers. Based on personal research and implementation of practical ideas in private and group lessons, suggestions for efficient practicing that incorporate easy technology and the latest discoveries in learning will be shared.

iCollaboration: Plugin, team up, supercharge your ideas

iCollaboration is more than just working at a distance, it's expanding thoughts and ideas in real time. We'll take you behind the scenes and give tips and tricks that you can use to successfully collaborate. 

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