This is the 3rd instalment in a 4-part blog series about Cadenza – a free online resource that has been known to help students practice more frequently and more effectively.

This article is written by Professor Rena Upitis (Ed.D. Harvard), a Professor of Education at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), who is the Principal Investigator for the research and development of Cadenza.

online help for piano teachers

Rena writes…

Now that you and your students have Cadenza accounts, the fun begins!

Click here to see last week’s blog about how to set up a free account.

During the lesson you will first need to open your Cadenza account; your homepage will show the list of students. Click on the “New Lesson” icon for the student, located at the far right side of the student’s bar.

We will use Dave Ezers as an example today.

online piano teaching guide


Once the teacher has clicked the “New Lesson” icon, the following screen appears (image below left). It is ready for the teacher to choose a task type (e.g. Repertoire) and to describe in detail what is expected of the student in preparation for the next lesson. The teacher might start by creating a checklist of items for the student to complete.

The various types of checklist items appear as a dropdown menu (image below right).

online piano teaching guide

Let’s fill in the detail for a Chopin Prelude that Dave is just beginning to learn. The teacher would like Dave to practise this new piece four times before the next lesson, concentrating on chord structure and hands-separate practising. Note that, in some cases, she’s asking Dave to play the piece a specific number of times. In other cases, she’s asking him to play certain measures correctly for a given number of repetitions.

The teacher has an attachment showing one of Chopin’s original scores. The completed task description appears below, and this is what Dave will see when he opens his Cadenza account at home.

online piano teaching guide


Now, let’s open the student’s Cadenza account. Notice that in the student view, the background colour is turquoise, in contrast to the teacher view, which is a teal colour. You’ll also see that the student’s homepage lists all of his teachers, as many students, especially in the later years, have more than one instructor. From here, Dave clicks on the icon on the far right to access the latest lesson.

online piano teaching guide


When Dave clicks the latest lesson, he’ll see the image below.

When he clicks the green arrow, he’ll be taken to the lesson.

online piano teaching guide


And now, the timer starts automatically, and Dave begins practising, according to the instructions his teacher has provided. When he finishes practising, he clicks on the “Save Practice” bar at the bottom of the screen.

This automatically sends an update to the teacher’s Cadenza view as well, giving a snapshot to the teacher of how the week’s practising is unfolding.

online piano teaching guide


Coming up next week…

“How teaching and learning change with Cadenza”

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