Blog

The Unexpected Homeschooler

The Unexpected Homeschooler

Covid-19 has made an unprecedented change in our lives. For those of us who are parenting during this difficult time, we have also had the immense task of juggling childcare and remote learning to deal with. Our family, like many families, had a ...

A Sneak Peak at the Entire Suite of Online Courses!

A Sneak Peak at the Entire Suite of Online Courses!

Welcome to the courses!  Here is a quick-and-dirty tutorial on how to utilize the Teachable Platform.  Teachable is such a user-friendly and intuitive platform, which is why I chose it as the home of my entire suite on online courses!  Check out ...

Getting Started:  How to use the Teachable Platform

Getting Started: How to use the Teachable Platform

Welcome to the courses!  Here is a quick-and-dirty tutorial on how to utilize the Teachable Platform.  Teachable is such a user-friendly and intuitive platform, which is why I chose it as the home of my entire suite on online courses!  Check out ...

Which Piano and Voice with Brenda online course is right for me?

Which Piano and Voice with Brenda online course is right for me?

Now that there are FOUR courses live at Piano And Voice With Brenda, I have been getting a lot of questions about which course to choose.  This quick little list should help you get started choosing the perfect course to help you get secure at the ...

Video:  Live solo performance of Weaver of Dreams

Video: Live solo performance of Weaver of Dreams

In June 2019, I recorded my first ever solo album.  We recorded the entire album in just 4 hours in my hometown of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.  Just me, my voice, a couple of microphones and a gorgeous Steinway piano.  Engineered by my old friend ...

VIDEO:  7 Reasons you should improvise at the piano

VIDEO: 7 Reasons you should improvise at the piano

Improvisation is not just for jazz musicians! Improvisation is an incredible tool to build and expand your skills at the piano, while exploring your own creative voice.   Want to learn to improvise?  Check out my new online course Piano ...

What does a jazz pianist need to know?

What does a jazz pianist need to know?

Playing jazz piano is one of those scary mysteries that can keep people from exploring and excelling.  Whether you are a classically trained pianist who is “jazz curious”, a jazz vocalist who wants to develop some useful keyboard skills or an ...

VIDEO:  Learn to play a blues in record time!

VIDEO: Learn to play a blues in record time!

Learning to play on the blues is a lot of fun and is a wonderful gateway into jazz improvisation. The Blues is a style of African American music that came into popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some important figures are Ma Rainey, ...

Introducing…Piano Improvisation for Everyone!

Introducing…Piano Improvisation for Everyone!

Drumroll please….I am excited to announce the launch of my brand new online course called Piano Improvisation for Everyone! Piano Improvisation for Everyone! is a course designed to get you improvising satisfying music at the piano. In this ...

Video:  What is your why?  Strategies for Success

Video: What is your why? Strategies for Success

It is easy to get bogged down with lists of things you have to do, but before that you need to identify your “why”. Why do you want to learn piano? Leave your comments below… Want to know more about my work?  Check out my suite of unique ...

Video:  How to establish a practice routine

Video: How to establish a practice routine

Here are tips and solutions to the “how the heck am I supposed to practice” problem. As a longtime teacher, I have 25+ years of helping people to achieve their musical goals and gain much-needed piano skills. Make sure to check out my mom-hack ...

VIDEO:  How I get my son to practice every day (and how this will help YOU!)

VIDEO: How I get my son to practice every day (and how this will help YOU!)

My 8 year old practices the piano every single day without fail and (almost) without tears.  How did I get him to do that?  How will this help YOU to practice regularly?  Watch the video to find out!  Make sure to hit subscribe and leave a ...

On Getting S**t Done:  Advice from the Trenches

On Getting S**t Done: Advice from the Trenches

            I have had several friends and colleagues tell me that they are amazed by my ability to juggle so many different balls at the same time.  I take is as a huge compliment and also am quick to point out that for the past ...

VIDEO Quickie #3:  Piano Improvisation 101: The Ostinato

VIDEO Quickie #3: Piano Improvisation 101: The Ostinato

Practicing technique at the piano is often boring and requires a lot of scale running and Hanon playing.  Over the years, I teach less and less rote technical work and spend more time teaching people to improvise.  NO – there is nothing wrong ...

VIDEO Quickie #4:  Piano Improvisation 101: Erik Satie

VIDEO Quickie #4: Piano Improvisation 101: Erik Satie

This is the fourth video in a new series called “Quickies” – short, info-packed tutorials designed to give you great information you can use TODAY. In this tutorial, I show you how to explore improvisation using a left hand ...

Frequently Asked Questions About the Online Courses

Frequently Asked Questions About the Online Courses

I have had so many people asking me questions about my popular online classes, that I thought it was time to write a blog post answering some of these questions!  I hope this is helpful! When do the courses start and finish? They start immediately ...

Frequently Asked Questions About Piano Skills for Singers

Frequently Asked Questions About Piano Skills for Singers

I have had so many people asking me questions about my popular online courses, that I thought it was time to write a blog post answering some of these questions.  I hope this is helpful! When do the courses start and finish? They start immediately ...

Tips on choosing a digital piano (and why I love the Casio Privia)

Tips on choosing a digital piano (and why I love the Casio Privia)

***This article contains links to my favorite keyboards, but they are not affiliate links and I am not being compensated for writing this article.***. (Just being a helper!) As a performing pianist and piano teacher, I am frequently asked by about ...

Why faking is the answer to all your piano woes

Why faking is the answer to all your piano woes

The art of faking is all about approximating an accompaniment part.  We do this by using our knowledge of the harmony and we use rhythms to estimate the basic gist of the piano part.  There are several compelling reasons while this is the most ...

Video Quickie #1:  Get Started Singing and Playing Piano Right Now!

Video Quickie #1: Get Started Singing and Playing Piano Right Now!

The hardest part of learning something new (like learning piano!) is getting started.  In this video, you’ll see my ingenious plan to get you singing and playing today!   ...

Which Piano Skills for Singers course is right for me?

Which Piano Skills for Singers course is right for me?

Now that there are FOUR courses live at Piano Skills for Singers, I have been getting a lot of questions about which course to choose.  This quick little list should help you get started choosing the perfect course to help you get secure at the ...

What Piano Skills Do Singers Need?

What Piano Skills Do Singers Need?

As a follow up to my blog post “How does piano training fail singers?”, I wanted to make a clear list of the actual skills that singers need in order to be successful.   Let’s face it:  many of us are going to need to be employed in a ...

My Teaching Philosophy and wish for you.

My Teaching Philosophy and wish for you.

This video is pulled directly from my online course Jazz Piano Accompaniment, which was released in December 2019.  This is the final video, where I wrap up what we learned and also shared some insight about my teaching philosophy and motivation ...

Welcome to my new teaching website!

After many years of teaching piano and voice in New York City and all over the world, I have finally created a website that houses all of my services in one home. When I was putting together this site, I asked some of my current students how they ...

How does piano training fail singers?

How does piano training fail singers?

I am a singer who has the great advantage of being a pianist.  Piano is my first instrument and I was lucky enough to obtain quality instruction from the age of four.  When I entered the professional world, I realized what a huge asset my piano ...

VIDEO:  How to use the Drum Genius App – a super fun metronome alternative

VIDEO: How to use the Drum Genius App – a super fun metronome alternative

I am a big proponent of practicing with the metronome and force encourage all of my students to practice with it all day long as often as possible.   If you’re like me, you are probably keen on finding fun ways to make developing strong ...

Songwriting at the Piano: An interview with Australian Country Sensation Haley Wilson

Songwriting at the Piano: An interview with Australian Country Sensation Haley Wilson

Tell me a little about who you are and what you do. My name is Hayley Wilson, I am a singer/songwriter from Brisbane, Australia and in 2017 I released my debut album and since then I have been writing and preparing for my next release by traveling ...

VIDEO:  Quickie #1 – How to Practice Singing and Playing Piano

VIDEO: Quickie #1 – How to Practice Singing and Playing Piano

This is the first in a new series called “Quickies” – short, info-packed tutorials designed to give you great information you can use TODAY.  In this video, I take you through a simple way to get started singing and playing. ...

VIDEO:  How to practice jazz with the metronome

VIDEO: How to practice jazz with the metronome

Here is a quick tutorial on practicing with the metronome in jazz. Brenda Earle Stokes, creator of online courses Piano Skills for Singers, shows you how to get used to using the metronome for practicing – something you should be doing every ...

Take the OMG out of DIY

Take the OMG out of DIY

I know I’m not alone when I say that there are a lot of things in business and life that I have zero affinity for.  I’m not a tech person, my administrative skills are so-so at best and I am not a naturally organized person.  At the start of ...

Money Matters:  An Interview With Financial Planner and Broadway Percussionist Dave Roth

Money Matters: An Interview With Financial Planner and Broadway Percussionist Dave Roth

As a freelance musician with an over twenty-year career, I am often asked for advice from younger musicians who are coming up.  My number one piece of career advice?  GET YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER.  Why?  Because being a musician, an artist ...

Get Your Studio Ready For Fall

Get Your Studio Ready For Fall

We’re in the middle of summer here in the US and yet we’re already seeing signs of fall.  Back to school sales are in full swing in every store everywhere. Now that I’ve had a little time to rest and work on a few projects, I’m starting ...

Summer Reading List (and my new favorite app!)

Summer Reading List (and my new favorite app!)

One of my goals for 2019 has been to devote more of my time to reading.  This goes along with my digital detox, where I have chosen to spend less time mindlessly scrolling and bingewatching, and finally tackle the massive list of books I’ve been ...

The Difference Between Knowing and Doing

The Difference Between Knowing and Doing

When I was in high school, music teachers weren’t always sure what to do with me.  I knew a lot of theory and information, which meant that my teachers were constantly giving me new information about jazz theory and improvising techniques.  The ...

Take A Professional Development “Staycation”

Take A Professional Development “Staycation”

Summer is here and your Facebook feed is full of photos of colleagues and friends singing and smiling at the many workshops, conferences and institutes that are being offered at colleges and retreat spaces all over the world.  And you’re quietly ...

Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant

I was browsing at the library the other day and came across this booked called “Bored and Briliant  – How spacing out can unlock your most productive and creative self”.  I was completely intrigued. ...

Big Announcement – On Changing Direction

Big Announcement – On Changing Direction

You may have read my recent posts on both my artist Facebook page and the Facebook page for my course Piano Skills for Singers.  If  you missed it, here it is As I’m sure you’re all aware, I have been extremely active as a private ...

VIDEO:  Singers and Voice Teachers – Protect Your Ears!

VIDEO: Singers and Voice Teachers – Protect Your Ears!

As singers and voice teachers, we spend a lot of time listening to sound, a lot of which can be loud. In this video I address the topic of hearing care as it relates to singing and teaching singing, but this is a good start for anyone in the music ...

VIDEO:  How to sit at the piano all day without ruining your back

VIDEO: How to sit at the piano all day without ruining your back

If you are a voice teacher or choral conductor, you know all too well that sitting at the piano can lead you with an aching back (or neck, or hips…). In this video, Brenda Earle Stokes, creator of Piano Skills for Singers, shares tips and ...

What is Micropracticing?

What is Micropracticing?

Chances are, every time you sit down to play piano you are making mistakes at some point. Have you ever taken a moment to identify what those things are? Try this: the next time you are teaching a voice lesson, running a choral rehearsal or just ...

On Confronting Hairy Monsters

On Confronting Hairy Monsters

Everybody has hairy monsters in the life. You know them. The list of difficult tasks that you’ve been meaning to get to and have been avoiding for months or maybe even years. You know you need to do them. You know they are high value. But they ...

How to get the most out of your private lessons

How to get the most out of your private lessons

As a longtime teacher of music, and even longer student of music, I have had the opportunity to learn via trial and error many methods that have served me and my students. Since we’re getting ready for back to school, and I’m getting ready to ...

How to get ready for your fall piano/voice lessons

How to get ready for your fall piano/voice lessons

Now that summer is winding down and our minds are on the back to school crunch, I have been getting several questions on how to prepare to start up piano/voice lessons again after summer holidays, or really any holidays when you’ve been away from ...

How I confronted my limiting beliefs  (and how you can too!)

How I confronted my limiting beliefs (and how you can too!)

I have been thinking and reading a lot about limiting beliefs and how our brains can be programmed to think something is impossible even if it isn’t.  These limiting beliefs hold us back from moving forward in our lives, our relationships ...

The Paperless Studio – How Getting Rid of the paper saved my sanity and saved me a ton of money!

The Paperless Studio – How Getting Rid of the paper saved my sanity and saved me a ton of money!

The Paperless Studio – How Getting Rid of the paper saved my sanity and saved me a ton of money! Paper is an often complained about component of adult life.  We are inundated with junk mail, catalogues and papers that pile up on all available ...

One Voice, Three Different Styles

Movie Mondays: Here is a video compilation of cross genre singing. Shot at USQ in Toowoomba, Australia in January 2017. #alarynxisalarynx #svw   ...

I Had Nodules and This Is What I Learned

I Had Nodules and This Is What I Learned

By: Brenda Earle Stokes, BFA, M.Mus In 2016, after a bad bout of reflux, I noticed that my voice was getting hoarse.  Assuming that it was some combination of my allergies and fatigue from life in general, I did a little voice rest and drank extra ...

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About SLPs (but were afraid to ask)

An Interview with SLP Leanne Goldberg MS, CCC-SLP By Brenda Earle Stokes, BFA, M.Mus. Leanne Goldberg is a Speech and Language Pathologist at the Grabscheid Voice and Swallowing Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Back in 2016, I was ...

Allergies be gone!  An Interview with my allergist Dr. Michael Lewin

Allergies be gone! An Interview with my allergist Dr. Michael Lewin

Allergies be gone! An Interview with my allergist Dr. Michael Lewin Required listening…Allergies by Barenaked Ladies It’s April in NYC and just we’re getting excited to finally put away our heavy coats and observe the buds on the ...

An End to Allergies?

An End to Allergies?

Allergies are rampant these days, and can be especially debilitating for singers.  Allergies can cause stuffed nose, mucus in the throat, coughing, sneezing and even wheezing.  Left untreated, laryngitis and other vocal issues can rear their ugly ...

So You Don’t Have to Marry A Piano Player!

So You Don’t Have to Marry A Piano Player!

My first instrument is piano. Lessons starting at age 4, Royal Conservatory training until grade 9, when I quit to take up jazz piano full time. I spent the entire four years of university transcribing Bud Powell solos and practicing in the “ ...

How to Get Your Kids to Practice

How to Get Your Kids to Practice

I get asked this question all the time!!  “How do I get my kids to practice???”  Here are a few suggestions coming from a professional piano/voice teacher and piano mom (my son is now in lessons!) ...

Are you a singer looking to improve your piano skills?

hands-on-piano

Brenda's online courses offer practical solutions for singers and voice teachers. Piano Skills for Singers Level 1 covers all the basics, while Piano Skills for Singers Level 2 is a singer's toolkit - the skills every singer, songwriter, choral conductor, and voice teacher needs to have.