A Piano Teacher's Gratitude List

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by Brooke Duke | thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and it’s a time we often try to reflect on the things in our life we are thankful for and show gratitude to others. As a piano teacher, I have a very specific gratitude list, and I wanted to take a moment to show my thanks and appreciation.

  1. All of my wonderful students.
    I am so thankful for each and every one of my students. You are all amazing, and I am so blessed to get to work with you all. Bringing you music and knowledge is a highlight of my life.

  1. All of my studio families.
    We could not be successful without all of the supportive parents, grandparents, siblings, partners, and friends. Many of our families even have multiple students in their family! You are all a pleasure to work with, and I am so grateful for you.

  1. My students & families understanding the struggles of a working parent.
    Sometimes my childcare doesn’t pan out, or my child is sick, or she’s just loud and disruptive. I do my best to have someone here for her during piano lessons, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. All of my students and parents have always been nothing but gracious, for which I am extremely thankful!

  1. My supportive partner and family.
    I wouldn’t be able to have a piano studio without the support of my husband and parents. Whether they are watching my toddler, helping me brainstorm, or attending recitals, they help me in so many ways.

  1. Getting to do what I love and still be at home with my toddler.
    Having a piano studio means I don’t have to leave my toddler every day, AND I get to do what I love as my profession. I get to make music for my job! That’s incredible, and I’m extremely grateful.

As a piano teacher, I certainly have a lot to be thankful for, and I will be dwelling on my gratitude list this holiday season. What would go on your gratitude list?

How to Practice Piano (hint: it's easier than you think)

Monday, November 18, 2019 by Brooke Duke | piano practice

I recently came across this infographic about piano practice, and I immediately thought, wow that sounds horrible. There’s nothing wrong with following this advice, but for most people it is completely unrealistic. Not to mention extremely boring. 

Things like practice every single day, practice on holidays, practice after a lesson, and practice before bed might sound great, but most people just don't have time for that.

So, ignore that. I’m going to give you the secrets to piano practice that won’t make you fall asleep.

  1. Practice the very next day after your lesson. This is when the material is freshest in your mind. Getting a practice session in then will cement it in your brain!

  1. Try to practice at least one day out of the weekend. I don’t know any piano teachers that actually expect you to practice on holidays.

  1. Having a set practice time works for some people. Other people just go to the piano at different times throughout their day. Whatever works for you is fine.

  1. Listen to music whenever you can. Listening to music helps develop your ear, which is essential to your musical skills.

  1. Practice in different, mixed-up ways. This week we start the 12 Days of Christmas piano practice challenge. You’re going to learn all sorts of different, interesting ways to practice. You’ll never be bored during practice time again! 

What Makes Us Different?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 by Brooke Duke | studio info

There's probably a ton of different studios and teachers you can choose from in any given area, so what makes Black Cat Beats different? Why choose my studio for your piano lessons? Read on the find all of the benefits and perks of choosing Black Cat Beats Music Studio!

Personally tailored lessons

I don't use the same exact lesson plan with every student. I have certain method books I like, sure, but learning the piano is not a one size fits all approach. I take into account many different factors when planning my lessons, including the student's age, grade, skill level, interest, personality, and goals. Some students, especially younger ones, need a lot of "off the bench" time; they get more games and activities. Some students are naturally gifted and need to move at a quicker pace. Some students prefer a slower pace. I identify the needs of each student and tailor the lesson to fit them. 

Emphasis on fun through learning

People learn best when they can have fun while doing it. While I can't promise that every single second of learning the piano will be fun, I do promise that I try my hardest to make it fun! Games, challenges, prizes, stickers, apps, YouTube videos - these are all things I utilize to make your piano lesson experience anything but boring. I will also take you through many different styles of music, focusing on your favorites whenever possible. 


I have many years of experience teaching the piano, and I have been playing piano myself for almost my entire life. I also have many years of working with children, in addition to extensive training in childhood development, personality types, learning styles, and multiple musical styles. 


I strive to offer my students and families convenience whenever possible. From signing up via my website to paying tuition online via credit card, I make things as convenient for you as possible. 

All the extras!

Your tuition includes not just your private lessons, but also a ton of extras! I provide opportunities for students to perform in low-pressure recital environments, birthday surprises, summer challenges, prizes, online note sharing, monthly newsletters, access to our active Facebook group, and more. 

Family friendly 

I have a toddler myself, so I know how important it is for your activities to work for your whole family. I understand when you need to miss a lesson due to illness or change your lesson slot. I always try to schedule sibling lessons back-to-back on the same day, and I offer discounts for family sign-ups. Not only your student but your entire family is thought of in my lesson structure and policies. 

If you really want to know the differences the Black Cat Beats brings to the table, contact us! We can set up a complimentary interview and you can see for yourself.